Monday, July 26, 2010

Faith or Frenzied-ness? :)

So, I sold my road bike.

I did not want to.  As you could probably tell by my posts about road biking in the last 2 weeks as opposed to the long hiatus of non-blogging before that, I fell in love with road biking.  I could tell that if I kept at it (which I wanted to do), I could become very good at it and even compete.  I love the rush of wind as I pedal at a consistent rate.  Basically, I "fit" as a road cyclist.

However, sometimes things don't go the way you want (at least not at first).  Friday night, I was saying my nightly prayers, and the thought came to ask this question "What do I need to do to prepare myself for my future wife?".  I had asked this or at least similar questions before, and usually the answer was to be patient or no answer, which to me means, "It's not time for you to know yet" etc.  But I hadn't asked it since I had bought this bike.  The immediate answer was "Sell the bike."  Not just A bike from our garage, not even just one of the two bikes I own, but THE [road] bike.  My thoughts were "What? I just bought it!  I love riding it! It's good for me!  Isn't it?  Was that just me thinking that for some weird reason?"  Anyway, I kind of struggled with those types of thoughts for a good while in my prayer, and then asked if I was still ok to go on my ride (see last post), and I felt I was, so I did.  Then I said "If it's Thy will, I'll do it."  The next night, (Saturday night), I said in my prayers again "Like I said, if it's Thy will, I'll do it, but I need to be sure I'm not just doing something crazy for no reason", and asked Him to confirm to me that what I was thinking was truly from Him.

Well, Heavenly Father answers prayers (if you didn't know that).  I went to a friend's ward to hear her report on her mission, and the theme of the meeting was "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."  That's in Proverbs 3:5-6.  I was like "Hmmm, if that's not a clear answer, I don't know what is" but somehow I felt that I was going to keep receiving confirmations that day.  Well, I did.  My own sacrament meeting, Bishop Ayre's daughters Kenedi and Amanda and Brother Hansen's daughter Madison spoke about the trials of their pioneer ancestors and how they had to sacrifice some great things to receive even greater things.  Also, Travis Bodtcher and Collette Charles (soon to be Bodtcher) talked about their relationship and how grateful they are for each other.  That wasn't a direct answer to my prayer, but it reminded me of how wonderful married life will be, and that I should be willing to give up anything for her.  Travis talked about how greatly his life changed the moment he decided to turn his life around, and now he's getting married in the temple because of it.  That was interesting to me.  Then in Sunday School we were talking about rehoboam and jeraboam and their poor leadership.  There were a couple of comments that hit me, but most of all when we talked about the grandson of Rehoboam I think it was, I can't remember the name right now, who was righteous and was surrounded by enemy armies.  He was told by a prophet to wait and trust the Lord, and the Lord caused the armies to fight each other and were destroyed.  Elder's Quorum the lesson was on the talk by Elder Martino, called "All Things Work Together for Good".  Basically, the whole day was saying "Yes, you should trust Me and the Holy Ghost.  The answer you received was from Me."

So, it's now gone.  I'm kind of sad, but I trust that the best will come of it.

I'm grateful for my testimony, and Heavenly Father's love.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

33 mi

Today I rode 33 miles on my new road bike.

I know that for experienced riders, that's not very far, but considering I've only had the bike for a couple of weeks, for me, this is the longest consecutive ride that I've done on the thing!  Last week, my Brother-in-Law Paul and I rode from my house to the second entry of Snowbird (see map).  We met Chrissie and my parents there for a day of hiking.  Then we just threw the bikes in the car and rode back down with them, so overall it was about 16-1/2 miles of riding.  But today I decided to go up and back.  I woke up today at 7:30 to start out by 8, and got back around 10:45 or 11:00 (I don't remember exactly).  As I got to the second entry, I decided to keep going (mostly because I was following a lady, and she didn't stop there, so I felt like less of a man if I did stop).  But I made it to the 4th entry, where I took about a 10-minute break to rest and enjoy the beauty of that canyon.  Next time I go, I'll go the rest of the way up to Alta.  Then the descent.  If you watch the tour de france or anything, you'll see some cyclists getting up to like 60 mph.  I got up to 42, and let me tell you, even though I'm a little bit of a thrill-seeker and I LOVE anything that feels like I'm going fast, I was a little nervous.  It wasn't bad at first, because the road is newly paved and smooth, but when I got toward the bottom where it's a little more beat up, I slowed down to about 32.  So yeah, those guys that go 60 are crazy.  Anyway, it took me less than 1/2 the time to get home that it did to get up.  I really enjoy cycling, and I think I'll stick with it.  It's going to be hard though when school starts, because to get really good, you really have to devote a LOT of time to it.

So for the rest of the day, we're going to play some ULTIMATE at 4:30 and then go to the REAL SL game tonight and watch fireworks after!  I'm pretty stoked.

Get out there and exercise, it feels so good.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Priesthood

I've kind of delayed writing this for a while, because it's personal and very important to me, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to share, and if there was anything I shouldn't or didn't want to.

However, for the few people who read my blog, I think, I would feel comfortable telling you about these experiences in person, so why not in my blog?

A couple of weeks ago, our family went down to my favorite place on Earth - Lake Powell.  We've been going twice or three times a year since I was a little kid, and I look forward to every single opportunity we have to go. This year was no different.  I was able to go the whole week, and I couldn't wait for morning ski rides, sun-tanning, hikes, swimming, having fun with my awesome cousins and sisters and parents (I could've just said family), and perfecting the back-flip on my air chair.  We got there on Monday afternoon, so my first opportunity to ski on nice water was Tuesday morning.  Unfortunately, for some strange reason, my Dad decided not to wake me up for the nice water, and just went (even though I've woken him up many times to go skiing)!  I was a little upset.

So later on that day, when the water was choppy because of boat traffic, I decided to break out my air chair, and see if I couldn't land the flip and hold on.  So I rode for a while, just enjoying the flying feeling of gliding above the waves.  Then, I jumped a couple of times, and tried the back-flip, but didn't really jump, so I just fell headfirst into the water, which I've done a lot (see video).

So the next attempt, I jumped, flipped, and in mid-air I thought "Yes!  This is it!  I'm going to make it!".  Something weird happened, and even though I had made it around, I crashed when I hit the water.  Usually, this is no big deal.  This time though, it was.

To me, it felt like my hand had gone into the rope handle, and that the handle had hit my forearm extremely hard and pulled me forward in the water a little bit.  It hurt like the Dickens, and when I came up, I saw that my glove was gone.  After telling the people in the boat to pick up the glove, I noticed that I couldn't move my fingers, they were just stuck in a half-clenched position (as if I were still holding the rope in my hand), and there was a half-golf-ball-size local area of swelling right where it felt like the handle had hit me.  I thought (verbatim) "Crap, I just broke my arm".  So my dad helped me into the ski boat, and we went back to the houseboat to look at it.  It still hurt a ton, and I was thinking I had ruined my family's (as well as my own) favorite summer vacation - which, to me, was more painful than the injury - seriously.  I didn't cry about my arm, I only cried when I was by myself changing, because I was sad to have to leave without getting to ski.

Anyway, I had the thought "I should have my dad give me a blessing", and Christine, one of my 3 amazing sisters, even suggested it to my dad.  Well, we decided to drive out to the channel to see where we could go to get my arm x-rayed, or at least to talk to someone about my arm.  When we got out there, my dad gave me a blessing, and then we called.  As I talked to Brian, the guy at the Bullfrog clinic, my arm hurt less and less, even though I didn't notice that until afterward.  The swelling had gone down almost completely, and I could move my fingers almost as much as before.  There was still some pain when I flexed my hand or wrist, but it wasn't nearly as bad as before.

The next day, Christine and I decided to go on a little hike across the canyon from our houseboat:

So we took the kayaks over there, and parked them at the bottom (1).  We left our life jackets there, and started climbing up the rocky slope.  Every step we took sent small rocks down, so we tried to make sure not to send rocks down on top of each other.  We got to a point where there were huge boulders (2), and we had to rock climb around them to get up higher.  I went one way, and Christine decided to go another way, about 10 ft away from me, (to the right in the photo).  We were just talking, and both of us were thinking how cool we were as siblings to go hiking up this hill with our chacos on and everything, when I suddenly hear Christine yelling.  I turn around to see her falling backwards off of the rocks above a 10-foot drop, and about 60 feet total below her to the water.  I watched in horror as she fell and rolled and fell again down the hill.  All I could do was yell her name trying to show my immense concern and worry and love for her, because I thought she was going to die.  When she finally stopped falling (about 10 feet above the water) (3), she sat there, turned and looked up at me holding her head.  I was worried she had split her head open, and was going to go unconscious soon.  I heard her yell across the water to the houseboat "Dad!  Get in the ski boat and hurry over here!"  That comforted me a little in knowing she could think and yell.  I slowly started moving to the side and then down as they came over in the boat and took her back to the houseboat.  As I walked down carefully, I noticed that one of the kayaks was upside-down in the water about 10 feet from the shore (4).  At the bottom, my dad and I talked a little about what had happened.  He said that he could only see me up at the boulders and the rocks falling down from me.  The huge boulder Christine had been on was falling straight toward the kayaks, and he thought Christine was in or near the kayaks!  One miracle is that the boulder didn't follow the same path as Christine, who went left (black line) and the rocks went right (green line).  Apparently that boulder had hit the one kayak and flipped it over into the water, smashing the one end.  When we got back to the houseboat, I went to change into dry clothes, and again, being alone, cried because of the emotions I had felt as I watched what I thought were my sister's last moments.  Then, my dad and I gave her a blessing as my mom, aunt and sister Chelsey took care of Christine's cuts.  She was in shock and was shaking.  Miraculously, she didn't break any bones, didn't split her head open or anything.  She had some pretty big scrapes, but no deep cuts, and a twisted ankle to top it off.

I was amazed at how quickly she and I healed.  I was able to ski Thursday morning, Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.  Christine, I think, could have as well, but to be safe decided not to, in case of infection from the water getting in her cuts.

(The girl in the picture is my cousin Ashlyn, who got up on skis for the first time this trip!)

I know those are long stories, but I wanted to preserve as much as I could what happened, and add to them my testimony of the Priesthood.  I know that it's a real power, which has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith by Angels, and that God and Jesus Christ personally appeared to Joseph Smith to restore this power and the true Church of Jesus Christ.  How grateful I am for a worthy father who is willing and able to give me and my sisters those blessings when they are needed, and for the blessings that come through that Priesthood and the love of God.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hearts (Again)

The heart is so amazing!  The human heart beats over 2.8 BILLION times over the course of an average lifespan of 75 years*.  This pumping machine pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every day, and works from it's first beat to it's last.  How cool is that???

I just started a job at the same research lab that I've been volunteering in for almost a year now.  I'm analyzing some structural differences in striation patterns of t-tubules (which serve as boundary lines for sarcomeres) in healthy vs diseased vs diseased then treated hearts.  It's really cool stuff, and I'm excited for the opportunity to learn more and grow in experience.

I'm just grateful that Heavenly Father knew to put such a diligent, persistent organ in us to which we attribute our deepest feelings (i.e. love, devotion, pain, joy, disappointment, and hope), and which provides life to our body and its systems.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Road Bike!

I bought a road bike yesterday.

This is a factory picture, but the real one looks identical to this one.

I'm fairly excited.