Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Life's Happenings

I realize it has been a while since I last posted. Typically I wait for about 20 comments to write a new post but in this case I will make an exception. I have had a lot of different things happen to me since December. All-State Music in Cody, All-Northwest Music in Seattle, Singin' in the Rain, MOVING OUT, and going to work for Dome Technology. Each of these things have been incredible in their own way, but the one with the greatest impact on me has obviously been moving out. I have experienced so many awesome things it is hard to count them all. Learning to shop for yourself was a lot more difficult than I would have suspected. Living with difficult roommates has been harder than a bucket of rocks. The work itself has been interesting and strange in its own little ways. Learning how to work in a construction environment with all the swearing and crude coworkers was really difficult for me at first. If I thought 7 years of locker room talk was bad then I don't know how I would rate this! It turns out that even though almost everything familiar to me wasn't present anymore there was one thing unchanged. My relationship with Heavenly Father. In fact it has grown considerably. I could call my parents and talk, but they weren't readily available for the first few weeks. They were either traveling the world or out cruising on new toys like motorcycles! So the only person I could turn to and express my frustrations and concerns to was Him. When I realized that I began to read my scriptures more and my prayers became so much more meaningful. Answers to my prayers came in remarkable ways. It has been awesome. The gospel is always true and constant and I love it!
I am in Chicago right now. I have been here since last Saturday and leave this Thursday. We are repairing a dome we didn't originally build for the North American Salt Company. It is SO hot and humid here. Gag. It was 110 with 85% humidity or something miserable like that. And then when you shotcrete it gets way hotter in there. There are only 5 guys on the project. Tanner came with me. One of the guys is 28 years old and has been working for domes for 4 years. He swears a little bit and chews, but is a pretty nice guy and is careful not to swear too much around Tanner and me. I was tying rebar in the lift with him and he told me he used to be "very LDS." I assume it means pretty active. He wondered what his life would be like if he was still living the gospel and had never fallen away from the church. I should have said "Nick! Just go back and I am sure you will find out what it would be like," but I didn't. Back in Colorado there are two guys I know of who were at one point LDS. Now they are rough and gruff and just like everyone else, they don't seem all that happy. Their lives are living proof to me that joy and happiness come from living the gospel. One of the men is about 30 and working on his fourth marriage. The other is divorced, has spent time in prison for something to do with writing a lot of bad checks, and is a recovering drug addict. Imagine the course their lives could have taken and could take even now if they just started living the gospel again! The 30 year old admits he misses the church and wishes he could go back. He can go back. That is always an option. I guess he must not feel like he could make a commitment if he did start to change. His mother is still active and he knows it's true. Living the gospel requires sacrifice. Joseph Smith said, "A religion that doesn't require the sacrifice of all earthly things can't produce the faith necessary to save a human soul in the realm of eternal life." If we aren't willing to sacrifice every worldly thing then we have no hope in the life to come.
I love the experiences that have come to me through these difficult times and under hard circumstances. Living away from home isn't the blissful life I had anticipated, but it has caused me to grow so much and I am so thankful for it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I wrote this article for my school newspaper, and then found out the paper wouldn't be published. I was a little upset at first, but am just glad I was able to write it. It really made my Christmas better than it would have been.

The Christmas season is fast approaching. As other’s around me in newspaper were doing different articles on Christmas related topics, I wondered what I should do. I realized that I wanted to write something that would make this Christmas season an even better one for each of us. I started to observe those around me and I finally decided. For my article this month I performed an experiment at Rocky Mountain High School. Experimentation is used to test existing theories or to prove or disprove a hypothesis. My hypothesis was this: "Teenagers are more concerned about trivial matter and are more self-absorbed than adults." After asking students and teachers at random I was surprised at the results produced.

I asked these questions of all those I interviewed. "At this point in your life, what are you most concerned about? What do you think about when you are just thinking? What worries you?" The answers I received were wide and varying. Students expressed fear and concern about college and the pressures of getting into one. One young man told me, "Girls. I think about girls." When questioned a teacher said, "I am concerned at the lack of compassion human’s show to one another." These two questions supported my hypothesis perfectly, that young people were more concerned about themselves and what makes them happy, rather than what they can do to make others happy. Then I was blown away by what a different young man answered. He told me his main concern right now in his life was preparing himself to be a better servant of God. The unselfishness of his answer caused me to contemplate what would make him say that. Why would he want to do that? Having spent time with this particular person I reflected on what I already knew about him. I had seen how he interacted with others and seen how he actively tried to be friendly and make them happy. I concluded his selflessness was a result of years of trying to become more caring and loving.

We live in a world where greed dominates all we do. Selfish people manipulate others to gain unfairly, for their own benefit for their own desires? How many people pose as credit card companies and con elderly people out of their money? What is their purpose to it all? The only things they stand to gain are the things they want.

A young man in our school is a primary example to me of how serving others, and not just ourselves, can change a life. He told me the story of being part of a group that went to an elderly women’s home cleaned her yard, moved things she couldn’t, and winterized her windows for her. Before departing they sang her a song. He said seeing her face changed the way he felt about service. "I felt happy when I realized I was doing something for someone that they couldn’t do for themselves." It touched me to see tears in his eyes as I heard him tell of his experience. Never before had I seen him cry. I didn’t expect to see him cry. But even though he is smart and very athletic, he wasn’t above serving others. It is not my intention share a sob story to appeal to your emotional side, but to demonstrate what real, selfless service is.

We have all heard people talk about "the reason for the season," but what does it mean? As most people know, Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. Christ, who lived a full selfless life, loved, unceasingly, everyone around him. The reason we celebrate him is because of what he did for us, sacrificing himself out of love for people everywhere. This Christmas season, let us rid ourselves of the selfishness that plagues our world and reach out to others because of the love we have for them. Let us emulate the example of the person we celebrate. I recently heard this talk by a man I greatly admire, where he gave us what we need to make Christmas this year better than ever. This is what he said.
"Finding the real joy of the season comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done or in the purchasing of obligatory gifts. Really, joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the world, who said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40). As we contemplate how we are going to spend our money to buy gifts this holiday season let us plan also for how we will spend our time in order to help bring the true spirit of Christmas into the lives of others. The Savior gave freely to all. And His gifts were of value beyond measure. Throughout His ministry, He blessed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear, and the halt and the lame to walk. He gave cleanliness to the unclean. He restored breath to the lifeless. He gave hope to the despairing, and He sowed light in the darkness. He gave us His love, His service, and His life.

What is the spirit we feel at Christmastime? It is His spirit—the spirit of Christ. The Christmases we remember best generally have little to do with worldly goods, but a lot to do with families, with love, and with compassion and caring. The Savior gave freely to all. And His gifts were of value beyond measure."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Senior Pictures

Here is the source to some of my senior pictures. A lady in my ward, Shayla Welling, took them. They turned out pretty good. These are just a few of the 500 she took.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I found out something that is kind of nifty. You can track on your blog how many people have visited your site, how many times, from where in the world, on what internet source and type of computer (mac, windows etc.), and I would personally like to thank my number 1 viewers. Coming in at first by a landslide with 15 total visits, felin. Thank you Forrest and Elin for your continuing support. :) 2nd is Logan Roberts with a total of 3.
I just thought that was pretty hilarious and I wanted to share it. Maybe next time I check, everyone on my list will have 1 more view. I also had a viewer from Russia. How awesome ;)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hello Everyone

Well hello everyone. A lot has happened since I have last shared anything, so I think it would be appropriate to do so.
First, School has started, and with it football, academics, FBLA, NHS, and of course social angst that is inevitable when it comes to school. :) I am a starting offensive lineman, right guard to be exact (the best of them are). I feel reasonably pleased with how I do. Playing football has been more fun this year than any year before, but the rest of it is harder. The kids and the language and stuff. But I have enjoyed it.
FBLA is going, slowly but surely. We had a conference in Casper last week that was good to be at. We left at 4:00 am, and got home at 11:00 pm. It was a LONG day.
For NHS (National Honors Society) we went to the Alberta Bare Theatre in Billings and saw "War of the Worlds" the same way it was first performed... on the radio. It was strange, but kind of cool. We are going back in February to see "La Boheme," and Ken or Kurt Peterson is the main character.
As far as things go in the world of academia, there is nothing to report. School work is the same as ever. I won't be a valedictorian because I ruined that a long time ago, but I am still doing pretty well. I am part of a "gifted and talented" group that will be attending a brain bowl at the college in Powell soon. I'm not going to lie. It made me feel kind of good when I was asked to be on it!
Social life has slowed down a bit since school has started, for a few reasons. Football takes a lot of time, and then I keep getting blown off. That last part may just be me, but I don't know! Tonight for instance, I planned for some friends to come up to the house to do stuff, but it didn't work out. We started out in Cowley together, and through each town on the way home I lost some. Well, all of them to be exact.
Last but not least, I have remodeled the bathroom downstairs, and well frankly, it looks awesome! I don't know how to get pictures off of our new camera onto the computer, so I will figure it out and get it done. We bought this new video camera that takes pictures too, but I am technologically inept, so it could be a while!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Have you ever heard of FarmTown on facebook? I get these Farmtown gift requests all of the time from a man I know on facebook. I block every application that this man sends me because he sends them to me all of the time! There is this guy at work who LOVES FarmTown. I laugh so hard on the inside when he talks about when his corn is going to be ready, and how Nick Wilson needs to harvest it for him so he can get points from him. Just now, "I'm thinking about buying a bigger place than the one I have now." This is hillarious. I love every minute of hearing about FarmTown. Nick Wilson's character is called "Jimbo." That makes me literally laugh out loud.
I got to work a half our early today, and that is why I am posting. I go to the HighSchool at 6:10 every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to do p90x with Nick. It is awesome. It is tough, but I actually really like it. Forrest isn't the only one who can post pictures of what he is going to look like at the end of the summer! By the way, it will be the guy, not the girl. Although, she looks pretty ripped.I am enjoying work a lot. I have learned a lot and am doing a lot. It is actually really fun. One day something went wrong with the Cowley street project, and it was our fault. Nick was really frustrated and had to leave to go somewhere really quickly. I hear him go out the door, but I heard him come back in. He walks into the middle of the office and says, "Russell, go to law school," and walked out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Accounting, Wow

So Here I am in accounting taking a test. It stinks. I try and try and try to understand this stuff, but it doesn't work. In fact, I don't think that anybody even understands it. Our teacher can only help one person at a time, so while I spend tons of time waiting, I get on the internet and enjoy everything that it brings me in while I am in this dreary place. Well I had better get back to my test. Mrs. Mader is coming.