Saturday, November 9, 2013

Concerns of our Country

I have had a fair number of things on my mind lately, one of which being the poverty I see on a daily basis . . . Life is hard enough without having to worry about where the next meal will come from or if it will even come.  It is hard enough having struggles in the home and at work.  Life is hard, plain and simple . . . I rarely post anything political and am posting this as a blog so that only those who choose to read it will see it.  Some of my thoughts are as follows:


Having a President that doesn't care about the very foundation this country was built on . . . a President who cares more about pleasing foreign dictators than the God in whom this country supposedly trusts in.  I am grateful to live in a country that does have some freedom, but at the rate our "fearless leader" is going, I cannot imagine that those freedoms would be around much longer.  All our president would need to do is go to just about any web page and he would see the damage and chaos he is creating on the country he promised to serve.

A true leader who has compassion for the people he serves shows personal sacrifice.  I am all about needing a break and taking a vacation, but I also feel that that is only deserved after I have done something productive, and even then that vacation needs to fit within my budget after all responsibilities are taken care of.  Spending more time on foreign soil and unnecessary amounts of money on unearned vacations is devastating.  It is to the point where it is almost embarrassing to proclaim that I am an American. 

I want our President to know, that regardless of repeated mistakes you make on a daily basis and the manipulation that is evident through your speeches, not only to the general public, but also to the House, I pray for you.  Although I did not vote for you, I am powerless to rid this country of the misery you have imposed upon it, but I do know that God is more powerful than everything in this world and can work miracles in our lives if we choose to allow Him.  No one here is perfect, Mr. President, everyone makes mistakes.  However, will you allow God to work miracles through you to ease the imminent captivity you have forced upon those who provide your lucrative paycheck and lifestyle?

I know more about debt than I ever wanted to, and to see what you are doing on no minor scale is terrifying to say the least.  I will give you this, Mr. President, you are cunning with your words, but both of us know, as well as the rest of this country, that words are nothing without action . . . words without action are nothing more than false promises.  I'm afraid this country is in a state, however, where even if you did begin to follow through with spoken and implied promises, most would not follow.

I implore you to look around at the suffering people you swore before God to help.  You swore before God and if you ask Him and allow Him, he will help you.  You may never see this, but there are cries in the night throughout the country, cries that yearn for not just a better world, but even simply a world where they can have enough to provide for their families.  I am one of those citizens, Mr. President and as an individual engaged to be married, I'm not sure I can afford to live in a country where someone we should be able to look up to for guidance and direction cannot be trusted or offer what is needed.

I am grateful for everything I have, but seeing more than millions of dollars spent on frivolous ideas makes me sick.  Invested properly, that money could have saved lives in many different capacities.  Obamacare is just one of many examples, but I will use it since it is most widely known.  The massive amount of money spent on Obamacare and other ideas could have been used in a better way.  You are spending money that we just don't have, Mr. President.  Our country hasn't had money for some time now . . . what happens when those foreign leaders come requesting our payment and we have nothing to give? . . .

A man never stands taller than when he is on his knees . . . we are praying for you, Mr. President, and it would be incredible to know our president was doing the same for us and with us.  We as a country are in no condition to be spending money, period.  We need to go back to the basics of food, shelter, and clothing.  I see people daily that do not even have that and I have even been there before myself.  Show us that you deserve the office and responsibility you were given.


One of many concerned citizens

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Time to blog again . . .

It's interesting how when you go through a streak of hard times in life, there is almost always that inkling that things will get better soon after.  This is true to an extent, but the duration of the time of "better things" to follow is not always as long as we would personally like it to be.  Life happens when you least expect it and it is best to stay close to the Lord and live worthy of His help and guidance to get back on track to feeling at least "normal," if not happy.

As many of you may know, I just moved across the country to Georgia.  I have learned many things these past few weeks.  In this blog I will include some of the things I have learned and hope that it can benefit at least one person down the road.

1. An individual can never prepare enough for what life is going to throw their way.

As I stated in a previous blog, life is depressing enough as it is and we just need to enjoy what we have . . . no one gets out alive in the end anyway.  There are so many opportunities for growth in this life and lately I feel like I have been served . . . served one massive platter of opportunities for growth.

It is interesting to ponder how even after all we can do, we still cannot consider ourselves to be completely independent of another being or sustenance.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately, whether consciously or not, and have come to the conclusion that no matter who or where we are, what our beliefs are, or even what our goals are . . . we are all dependent on at least one source of sustenance.

Now, what that source is to one person could be something completely different to another.  Due to the equivocal nature of life, with everyone experiencing different backgrounds, upbringings, and that aside, opinions and thought processes, what keeps one person going may actually kill another person.  It is completely insane, but makes so much sense at the same time.  

After all, as many parents have found out (and I believe it, but will find out the hard way I am sure) there is no set handbook for parenting.  Each child is different and has their own personality and thought process ingrained within them from birth.  Can that thought process be influenced?  Sure.  Finding the balance, however, is the hard part.  

My greatest fear is to not be able to support a family and their needs.  Not simply financially, but also mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  I hope I am a good father and remember that each child my beautiful future wife and I are entrusted to are a blessing.  I don't want to hinder their progress in any way or take away from them what they were naturally given to bring to this earth.  I hope I can find the balance, but as I am learning, no amount of preparation can eliminate the element of mistakes or hardship.

2. People change.

 No matter how well you think you know someone, you are not with them all of the time.  We all go through life meeting people and making friends and acquaintances and it is impossible to know them perfectly.  Everyone is given the gift of making decisions in life and as much as we think we know a person, we really don't.

We are all faced with different challenges each day and though it is impossible to really put ourselves in someone else's shoes, it is imperative that we try.  Everyone has different priorities in life and that's an individual decision.  The only times where I get involved are if those individual decisions affect me and my happiness or the safety of those I love.

I have worked a long time to get rid of negative influences, but it is improbable to do in today's society.  We are surrounded by it on a daily basis.  After we do all that we can, however, that is when we give the Lord permission to step into our lives and open the windows of heaven.

3. Complete strangers can be angels of mercy in disguise.

 As some of you may know, I work for Delta Air Lines.  The first few weeks that I have been here in Georgia have been an absolute nightmare.  Though I moved here with someone I grew up with, I have been completely alone and have had to look for ways to be happy and to overcome the struggles that have been going on.  I have found that people that aren't family care when it's convenient, but when "crap hits the fan" (sorry Dad, I used the c-word) they can disappear.

Well, when I first moved down here, everything was good and I had some time to get settled before my first day of work in the new office.  It is a nice home for me and I am just grateful to be here.  Those of you who know me know that I am fairly easy to please and that as long as I have somewhere to call home and someone to talk to, I am happy.

Problems happened where I was not able to figure out what to do on my own.  I was able to speak with a manager at work who was kind enough to just listen and find out what was going on in my life.  I feel bad, but I must admit . . . I kind of unloaded on her.  The caliber of people I work with is very high and the signs around Atlanta that say, "Delta: World's Most Admired Employees," are not put up lightly.  I learn more and more every day about the great company I work for.

I was able to talk with my parents also and am grateful that I can call them when I need to, even if it is just to talk.  They are very supportive, which many people do not have these days.  I was pleasantly surprised also when my dad said that he and my mom would like to spend Christmas in Atlanta with me.  That made me feel a lot better and I was reminded how much they love me.  I have truly been blessed with the parents I needed.

5.  When times are tough, temptations come to offer "easy" ways out.

Naturally, to find the quickest, most efficient path out of difficult situations, irrational thoughts start to kick in.  Depression sets in, fear takes over, and then anger makes its way onto the field, aimed at no one in particular, but brought on by unfortunate circumstances.  When there seems to be no way out of a situation, paths that would not logically or rationally be sought after creep towards the front of the mind.

Today is the last day of one of the hardest semesters I have ever completed.  Were the classes particularly hard? No, they were actually some of my favorite classes.  However, lacking the resources to complete the required work due to circumstances beyond my control caused some serious anxiety.

When I first moved to Georgia, I found that I was living in a house that had no service with Verizon Wireless so I was unable to use my mobile hotspot.  After waiting for a week for them to finally agree to what the tech that finally came out said was a "known issue," I switched to Sprint hoping for better results.  By this time I had been in Georgia for about a week and a half and had to get internet in the home, realizing that any wireless internet was not going to work.

Comcast had good service up north (but so did Verizon) and I decided to give them a shot since they offered monthly service with no contract for the same price as with a contract.  It might have been a promotion, but it seemed like a "no brainer" to me.  I think most people would agree with me that service contracts can be horrendous.

I signed up for the service and took the self-starter kit home, but interestingly enough . . . no internet.  It had now been 10 days since I had seen my fiance and I was feeling horrible about that and stressing about my homework (which I tried to do using WiFi at work until Comcast got their act together).  Well, Comcast sent a technician out to turn the service on, which they supposedly did.  The funny thing is that the experienced technician must have overlooked the fact that there were no wires going from the Comcast box to the house.  I'm not sure how any company can afford to employ ignorance, but that's their problem.

I called in the next morning only to find that the soonest appointment I could get for a technician to come out would be on Thursday, five days later.  My frustration was already building by this time, but I made the appointment and just did my best with what I had.  Thursday came around and the technician performed a two hour install and made sure everything was hooked up and wired.  It worked great for the 10 minutes after he left before I had to leave for work, but when I got home . . . no internet.

Having to call Comcast again and make another appointment for a few more days out (the soonest available for them) began to make me wonder if this is what it was going to be like if I stayed with them.  The technician came out and switched out the modems (even though when they came it was actually working) for an older model that was supposedly more reliable.  I won't get into that appointment, but they ended up leaving without it working due to an area outage.

When I got home that night, the internet was working . . . slow, but working.  Almost three weeks without Skyping with my fiance has been extremely hard on both of us.  Most people don't realize what a toll this can play because they are able to go on regular dates in person, but I still believe that by getting through these challenges, my fiance and I will be stronger in the end. 

My internet is still not up to par and I have a 30 day period that I can give everything back and not have to pay a dime.  This would be an easy thing to do if the internet had not slowly started coming back up the last two days.  The service is still very shady, however, and a technician is coming out again tomorrow.  We will have to see what happens with that.  I took the whole day off just to make sure they don't leave anything unattended.


I want nothing more than to be with my fiance and I have been so worried that our relationship has been suffering due to lack of interaction.  Phone calls and messages are great, but over such a long distance where daily communication is key, not having Skype or being able to see each other has been extremely trying.  


I have had thoughts that maybe she would be happier with someone that is closer and she has had the same thoughts regarding me, but both of us agree that we would not be able to live with the decision later on.  Times are hard right now, but the bottom line is that we make each other happy . . . many people don't find that in the whole duration of their lives and now that I have that, I am not letting her go.

They were showing the Great Gatsby on one of my flights between Atlanta and Salt Lake City and I must admit that it made me cry . . . especially the part about him being penniless and it not working at the time.  I would do anything to be with my fiance, but it seems it will just take a little more time.

These last few weeks have probably been the hardest and saddest of my life.  I have had "pijamadas" with myself, staying up late every night watching movies that Danny and I have watched, or looking at photos of us and the funny videos I have of me and her and her family.  I have the engagement album her mom made me next to my bed and I hope I haven't ruined it with all of my crying.  Eventually, fatigue takes over and my tears put me to sleep each night and I wake up just in time to get ready to leave for work at 5:00 pm each day.

I have found that writing helps me to share my feelings and unload in a way that I don't have to worry about inconveniencing someone by asking if they have a minute.  If someone reads my blog, that is completely up to them and I don't have to feel bad about wasting their time.  I am excited to go see my fiance at the beginning of next year, although, and oh what a great reunion that will be . . .

Thursday, August 29, 2013

By Small & Simple Things . . .

I have spoken of the horrors that have occurred in the last few years, but I have not yet written a blog about the incredible changes that have happened in my life that have helped me to progress into the man I am today.  Many of you are probably familiar with the scripture that speaks about great things coming to pass from small and simple things.  Within this blog, I will share some of those small and simple things that have changed my life forever . . .


In Spring of 2010, I was finishing up a semester at BYU-Idaho and was mostly just focused on my studies.  I was trying to go on two dates a week and was successful sometimes with that goal, but definitely not always.  I met some wonderful people and was having a great time, but never really found the one I could talk to about everything that was in my mind . . . until one day, on Facebook!

I remember sitting down at my computer, getting ready to do some homework (while also checking my Facebook like most students my age do), when I received a friend request almost immediately followed by a message.  It said, "hello!" I had no idea who this person was, but it seemed that we had a friend in common.  All I remember was the crippling effect her smile had on me.  Well . . . as most of you may know, I am not one to ignore a friendly hello, and I returned it with a, "hello!"

We talked for a minute or two when I received a call to go to some ward activity, at which time I politely excused myself and offered to talk the following day.  This beautiful girl accepted my apology and said that tomorrow was totally fine.  I don't remember what we did at the activity that night because I couldn't get that smile out of my mind for some reason.

Well, the next day rolled around and we talked . . . this time for a little more than a few minutes.  The next day and the next day . . . and the next day rolled around, until we found ourselves talking every night about completely random things.  What happened to us that day, differences in our countries and cultures, what it's like to be a student at BYU-Idaho, goals and ambitions, the church, many different things.  We would laugh together about the silliest things and cry together in times of emotion.  Never had I felt such a strong connection to anyone.

This went on for a few months and we had talked (I think she thought jokingly) about meeting some day, when one night came around and I told her . . . "Guess what!" She responded, not surprisingly, "what?!" . . . "I am coming to Ecuador!!" It took her a minute to analyze what she had just been told and then she got so excited and we met in person a few months later.  It was an incredible experience and I remember some of the first words that she told me when I got there, "you are so handsome!"  This was not a common occurrence for me and made me feel like a million dollars and freshly made fry sauce . . . man, I love that stuff.

Pizza Night at Home
We had obviously skyped prior to this and had seen pictures on Facebook and MSN, but it was truly amazing to connect in person and embrace with the only person I was able to share my entire life story with and not feel like I was being judged.  I remember to this day what she was wearing when she met me at the airport for the first time . . . and I will never forget the first time I looked into her eyes and held her in my arms.

Now, I know many of you are probably thinking, "did you kiss her?!" The answer to that is . . . heck yes!!  I had been saving that first kiss for the right girl and though it may have been nice to experience a kiss before that time, saving it for the woman I was going to marry (although she didn't know it at the time) was bliss.  Granted, I didn't really have many opportunities to kiss a girl before that time, but I felt at that moment like there was a reason for that.

My heavenly father was trying to keep me from getting hurt, which can happen very easily with me . . . he wanted my first kiss to be with someone that wouldn't throw me on the street as soon as a guy walked past that had more money or a ripped body.  She had already proven this to me many times . . . God knows what kind of girl she is and what her deepest feelings are and I am grateful that he brought us together.  It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but it really has been the best years of my life and they will only get better when we are together forever.

I LOVE this Family!
I have been down to see her 5 times now and each time I see her, the love is not only still there, but stronger.  Her mother told her that it seems like every time I come down it seems like a magical experience for me and, she is right.  I was welcomed into the Zamora home with open arms and open hearts.  I met the entire extended family on my first trip and absolutely fell in love with them.

I remember on one of my first dates with my (now) fiance, we were at the Iguana Park in downtown Guayaquil, cautiously walking to avoid the Iguanas above that were targeting innocent pedestrians.  I tell you openly that you have not lived until you have been pooped on by an Iguana.  It is the experience of a lifetime . . . lol, and the horror and then laughter that erupts afterward is priceless.

Delicious Cuy . . . a delicacy

of Cuenca, Ecuador

On one of my other trips, she and I had Cuy for the first time.  It was a neat experience and we had to try it at least once.  Well . . . we finished our meal and about 10 minutes after we left the restaurant . . . we were both desperate to find a bathroom.  It seems that it is always in Cuenca where we struggle with finding restrooms to use, but those stories are for a later time.  Long story short, we finally found a restroom and survived another day.

We have shared many great experiences together and our lives are just starting, but we are so excited for what the years to come will bring.  Some exciting things are happening in our lives, and though times may seem hard right now, I am grateful to have her as my support.  I don't want it any other way.  The only thing that could be better is if we were in the same country, but once again, God has stepped in and I now work for an airline and am moving next month to company headquarters.

Our Engagement Day
If it weren't for that simple message and friend request, I might never have realized what I was capable of in this life.  I may have never found out what it is like to truly confide in someone.  I have learned not to trust everyone, but my fiance is someone I will always trust and for me, that is peace.  What more do I need than a woman I can trust in for a companion and a God that is rooting for us every second of every day.  That is the coolest feeling in the world.

This girl is my happiness and I am grateful she thought I was good enough to be with her.  She makes me laugh at the silliest things, she makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes, but I tell you what.  When that smile comes across her face, I just break down.  What a wonderful woman I have by my side.  Heavenly Father really is there, and yes, he does answer every child's prayer.

To my beautiful fiance . . . I love you with my life.  Thank you for choosing me baby.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Clearing the Air (Part 4)

Continuation of: Clearing the Air (Part 3)


I recently contacted the local police with photos and documentation of our conversations as well as the harassing messages and screenshots that were sent to my fiance over the years.  They will help me if it continues and want me to provide further information if it becomes available.  My fiance will be moving up to the states next year, for which I am so excited to be able to be with her in person for more than a few times a year.  I relayed this to the police and they told me they will place a restraining order on him at that time if necessary, as he has been stalking her down in Ecuador.  He has been trying to stalk me when I am down there, too.

From hacking my accounts and my fiance's accounts, to blackmailing and lying about me, Satan has many tricks to use through his followers.  It is not always through demons and devils in the form that we see in horror movies, but through people that we see on the streets or in public on a daily basis.  This man envies and covets something that is not attainable to anyone and it is corrupting him to the highest degree.  A person cannot be owned, and thus cannot be stolen.  When people are thought of as property, the line has already been crossed.

All I desire at this point is peace . . . and to attain that it is pretty sad that I have had to get the law involved.  I have been struggling this for so long that I am probably paranoid as I have backed up all documentation on 3 different hard drives as well as a cloud drive.  I am ok with letting things go, but when it begins to affect the people I love and their safety, I will make sure everything is taken care of properly.


This concludes this series of blogs for now.  Again, any feedback is welcome and if you don't feel comfortable posting it here, you can privately message me.  It has obviously been unsuccessful up to this time to speak reasonably with these people which is why I have contacted law enforcement.  The next step will be to contact the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador because a U.S. citizen that is stalking Ecuadorian citizens, especially in their own country will not go over well I am sure.  His threats and the threats from the people in New Zealand have all been documented as well as the message of his friend.  I can only imagine how many other people have been involved in this.  If it could end right now, I would be all for it, but it doesn't seem that it will.

Clearing the Air (Part 3)

Continued from: Clearing the Air (Part 2)


When she began talking with me every night, he began to realize that he was "losing" her, even though he never had her.   He accused me of stealing the love of his life at which time I told him that it is impossible to steal someone who has complete agency over their own choices.  I informed him as kindly as I could with the threats he was throwing at me, that she chose to be with me.  She has told me that he would always throw out comments about how much money he and his parents had and his ridiculous obsession with his body and how he looked.

I believed everything she told me about him, especially when he confirmed it himself by talking to me on Facebook about his body and how much he liked to work out.  He then started talking about my fiance's body and how much he loved it.  I will not go into more detail there about what he said, but it amazed me that a missionary who had served among these people for so long had learned so little about them and what is important to them.  My fiance's mom later told me that he thought he was "God's gift to the world."  Maybe he is . . . a gift to show us how not to be . . . as it says in the scriptures, we would never know good if we did not know the evil.

You are probably wondering where the family from New Zealand comes in and that is what I will address now.  Even though I accepted that the girl in New Zealand didn't want to talk to me, this guy that was living down in Ecuador would not believe it and began contacting various people from my mission.  Him and one of his friends would send them messages and speak with them . . . lying that they knew me and were one of my best friends.  They began asking for information about me, which should have been a red flag to everyone in New Zealand since they would have known everything if they really were my best friends.

This guy and his friend would lie about how they had just had pizza at my home and how I made the best pizza, trying to get in the door in any way possible to gain their trust.  Well, this family took the bait, hook, line, and sinker.  They then would tell the family horrible things that I had supposedly said about them, even though I had never talked with these guys.  As you can imagine, it kept getting worse and worse.  Lies would be told and mixed with truth to create overwhelming emotion that would be directed negatively towards me.  This was their plan . . . to break up my fiance and I.

The family in New Zealand started working together with these guys and tried numerous ways to get to me . . . and to try and "show" my fiance that I was not a good man.  I don't know if any of you have ever been blackmailed, but it leads to exceeding amounts of anxiety and depression.  There was nothing, at least that I could think of, that I could do.  I contacted the family and told them what was going on and that I had not said those things, but they were comfortable believing two strangers instead.  I informed them that if it didn't stop, I would be forced to contact local church leaders and possibly take legal action where possible.  The mother promised me that she talked to her kids and that it would stop . . . it didn't.

The guy that was so interested in my fiance has not given up to this day.  In the beginning he would tell me congratulations for finding such a beautiful girl in Ecuador and that he could show me how to love them.  In the back of my mind, however, I was thinking why would he need to show me how to love her if he couldn't figure it out in person?  I was also thinking it was a trap where later on he would tell her that everything I was doing was because he told me how to love her and I didn't need that.  Some people are so transparent.  This was more than 3 years ago.  The abuse has not stopped to this day.

Continued in following Blog . . .

Clearing the Air (Part 2)

Continuation of: Clearing the Air (Part 1) . . .


I, with my companions, taught and baptized one of their uncles and helped him and another to stop smoking.  In addition, as a District Leader in the area, my companion and I were determined to bring sheep back to the fold by going through the ward records and contacting everyone that wasn't attending either church or activities to see if there was any assistance we could offer.  While going through the records, we noticed that not everyone in this family was there, including this girl and her little brother.

Her little brother was baptized soon after when he reached his 8th birthday.  From information I had gathered from leaders in the ward, they weren't sure why the daughter in this family didn't have any records.  They eventually determined that something had happened in the Samoan Ward years ago and that she would need to be re-baptized, even if simply to create a membership record number.  This baptism followed soon after at the same time I baptized one of her uncles.

Fast forwarding a little bit, I returned home and, while at a family reunion, I received a call from this family.  They were so excited to speak with me, which seemed normal at the time.  Eventually, their daughter came on the phone and acknowledged that she liked me and the things I said in the letter about her family.  I was obviously surprised as I had struggled with self-confidence my whole life.

Going forward a few more months, my parents and I went to New Zealand to visit the people I had had the wonderful opportunity of working with in all of my areas.  However, when we went to visit this family, their daughter wouldn't even say one word to me, so I didn't push it.  It took me almost a month later to realize nothing real is forced when individuals are involved and I moved on.  I was dating other girls at college and slowly trying to boost my self-confidence again.  I don't think many girls realize how hard it can be for a guy to say anything to them, but luckily I had roommates that I could exchange "date-failure" stories with at the end of the day.

One day, I received a friend request from a beautiful girl down in Ecuador . . . that friend request changed my life.  That wonderful girl said hello to me and it was amazing how we just seemed to "click."  As you probably guessed, she is now my fiance and we are looking forward to a wonderful future together.  I will explain some of the incredible blessings the Lord has given us in another blog.  I had never had anyone that I could talk to about everything and not have to worry about what they thought about me.  I was so used to being judged that it was refreshing that someone would just listen and then share their thoughts when I had finished.

As most people can probably imagine, this beautiful girl was not without interest to the guys down there.  There is an American citizen that served his mission in Ecuador, a different mission than the one my fiance resides in, although.  He was living down there with his parents trying to help teach English to people down there and had his eyes on this beautiful girl for a long time, but no matter how hard he tried, he just wasn't what she wanted or needed . . . wasn't what she was looking for.

Continued in the following Blog . . .

Clearing the Air (Part 1)

I am splitting this blog up into sections as it may be a long one and I realize that can sometimes make it hard to read in one sitting for the busy lives most of us lead today.  Any feedback or recommendations are greatly appreciated and openly welcomed.  These last few years have been so happy, but have also been filled with horrible nightmares.  I love you all and hope you have a great rest of the week!  Here we go . . .


I am continually amazed at the love the Lord has for us, regardless of our stupidity.  I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes in my life and I am usually quite open at admitting them.  I have had people blackmail me, pretend to know me, and tell people what "I have said" about them without ever even having known me.  I have had people research my past and blow it out of proportion and look at me like a satanic dog.

I have been threatened for the things that "I have done" and told that their wrath will spill out upon me.  They say this even though they are mislead by others they don't even know in person and trust them more than asking the people they really do know in person.  Trusting in unreliable information from an unknown source is not the smartest thing to do.  I am amazed at the stupidity of our modern society . . . I really am.  Not very many things surprise me after these last few years, but humankind never ceases to continue down the never-ending path of hopelessness.

I am writing today concerning the crippling effects of envy and covetousness.  I'm not sure many people know what it is like to have their complete past researched and thrown in their face, completely out of proportion.  Not only once, but continually for years.  I am now beginning to understand the principle of turning the other cheek, regardless of how much the world thinks they "know."

Looking back at the training I received on my mission, I realized a very important fact.  Christ, the most perfect individual to ever walk the earth, was hated by many.  Now, I am in now way saying that I am like Christ and want to make that perfectly clear.  What I am saying is that if the most perfect being to walk among men was not loved or even liked by everyone, why in the world should any of us think that we could accomplish such a task?

The spawning thought of this blog was to share a little of what has happened to me these past few years and the constant reminders that are thrown at me, even today.  I have been accused of saying horrendous words which are backed up solely by the testimony of one or two people whom I have never even spoken to or met personally.  It is interesting to note also, that when the two people try to confirm the same thing to them, the stories don't match up.  I have found that people who may seem to be your closest friends, no matter how much you do for them and their families, can still stab you in the back at the earliest opportunity . . . even if the reason is backed by unreliable evidence.

I am going to be completely open and honest in this.  I fell in love with the people of New Zealand during my two years of service there.  I loved everything about it . . . the culture, the food (especially the food), the people, and the laid-back lifestyle that is apparent there.  I have spoken with many people and it is not uncommon for a missionary to feel something inside for someone while they are out in the field.  This happened to me.

Now, I did not act upon those feelings while serving the Lord.  My downfall was writing a letter when I had finished service and leaving it behind when I went home.  In this letter, I in no way asked a girl to marry me . . . that is absurd!  I remember saying how impressed I was with their family and that I enjoyed the time I had to serve them.  I will admit that I did also say that I wouldn't mind taking this girl out on a date when I returned with my family, if she wanted or permitted it.  I was in no way requesting anything and anyone who knows me knows that I would not do that.

Continued in following Blog . . .