Sometimes the only way I can describe Colorado is by referencing the book "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us...." That really is the story of Colorado- You can't explain it because there is literally two worlds.
On Wednsday (the 2nd) I experienced a perfect micro-chasm of what CO Springs really is. In the morning after we did our weekly planning we did service at a house that by all standards could be considered a "dream home". We pulled weeds in the yard and some other quick yard work. Their house was nuts! It had like a 2 acre backyard and 3 stories (plus a basement) and I didn't recognize the brand of car in the garage because I don't speak Italian.. Haha. It was pretty awesome.
Then we went to another member's house to pick up two beds for another lady she knew about 10 minutes away. I have to be honest here. I was a little dissatisfied because sometimes I feel as though we do more house moving than teaching.. This time I got a wake up call. As we moved in the last bed to the house, one of the two girls (Age - 5) jumped into bed and said so innocently - "wow this is so much softer than the floor!!" At that moment it kind of clicked with me.. these girls had been sleeping on the floor for God knows how long. They didn't even have a bed to sleep on before we got there. The mom was pretty embarrassed and said she had some surgeries about a year ago and couldn't afford to buy much less move in two beds for her girls. (Do you know how cold it is at night here?).
As we began to leave she asked us if there was anything we needed or if we wanted some food. I can't describe the feelings that were in my heart at that moment but the closest thing to it would be "humbled". Choking on my tie and on my tears as we ambled down the stairs that day I made a promise to myself never to grumble or bemoan my situation because someone ALWAYS has it worse - and regardless of that, they continue to serve. WOW.
Friday of this week is a very important anniversary in US History. September 11th 2001 will live on throughout history as a day of infamy. However, there is always light in the dark. 14 years ago, Friday- A man named Todd Beamer woke up and kissed his family goodbye. It was really early in the morning so his two kids and pregnant wife were barely awake but he told them he loved them and gave them that "trademark Todd smile" as his close friends would call it. And he walked out the door. As he boarded flight 93 he probably was thinking about the sales pitch he was going to employ later that evening but soon those thoughts would change drastically. At 9:28 AM 4 men led by Lebaneese Ziad Samir Jarrah hijjaked flight 93. Some say they were headed for the White House. Some say that they could have been going for the Capitol Building. Either way the hijacked plane was headed straight for one the most densely populated cities in the United States.
Todd and the other passengers of flight 93 had a very important decision to make. They could let the actions of others control them, or they could do something about their situation. Todd called his wife but was rerouted to a GTE airphone call supervisor - Lisa Jefferson. According to the 9/11 commission Beamer told Jefferson that the group was planning to "jump on" the hijackers and fly the plane into the ground before the hijackers' plan could be followed through. This confirms my assertion that Todd and these other men were NOT fighting for their lives. That is false. They were fighting for the lives of SO many others that they did not even know. They were led to this final action by a law higher than one on this earth. They did this because they wanted OTHER people to have another hug, because they wanted OTHER families to share a goodbye hug, they wanted other families to be able to stay with each other for at least one more day. Beamer then recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with Jefferson, prompting others to join in. Beamer requested of Jefferson, "If I don't make it, please call my family and let them know how much I love them." After this, Jefferson heard muffled voices and Beamer clearly answering, "Are you ready? Okay. Let's roll." These were Beamer's last words to Jefferson.
I cannot express my heart's passion as I ponder this story. We all know what happened that day - Flight 93 crashed upside down into an open farm field near Shanksville, PA. The selfless actions of Todd and the other passengers of Flight 93 saved countless lives. They also saved the faith of other's both in their country and in their God.
I have such an admiration for Todd Beamer but there was another who walked this earth who made a sacrifice much larger than that. His name was Jesus Christ. Late one night in the Garden of Gethsemane, our Savior suffered for each and every one of our sins, trials, and infirmities. He, who lived a perfect life agonized over all and paid the price which we could not have paid. He was then Crucified and physically died so that we might live again. When he rose from the tomb he sealed the undying atonement on to each and every one of us, whether we accept him or not. Jesus Christ truly loves us all- and because of that he acted forthwith. I challenge all who read this letter today to constantly keep the sacrifice of so many others that came before us...most importantly our Savior Jesus Christ, The Son of God.
Love and Prayers to all,
P.S. That is really cool about Corbin Smith. My bishop would like to see that. We might go to an Air Force Wrestling match someday.
OUR FRIENDS, THE SMITHS, HAVE AN AMAZING FAMILY - WITH SOME INCREDIBLE SONS WHO HAVE BEEN STATE WRESTLERS REPRESENTING UTAH FOR YEARS!!! THEIR YOUNGEST SON CORBIN HAS RECENTLY BEEN NAMED ONE OF UTAH'S TOP 25 WRESTLERS. HERE IS THE NOTE I SENT TO TYLER ABOUT CORBIN'S SUCCESS:
TOP 25 UTAH STATE WRESTLERS:
Here we are with another season about to begin so let's take a look at the top 25 wrestlers going into the 2015-2016 season. Rankings will change many times as I'm sure wrestlers will fight there way into the top 25 but for now these 25 wrestlers reign supreme in the great state of Utah!
#25 Corbin Smith: Wasatch High School
Junior, 138lbs - Last Ranking #NR
Utah State Runner-up
In the 4a these middle weights are going to be fun to watch and Corbin will be right in the thick of things.
P.P.S. We already did some shopping and later today around 4 we are barbequing with our members. We are having the district over.
P.P.P.S That is crazy about Adam Nickerel. WOW so jealous.
TYLER IS REFERRING TO A MESSAGE/PHOTO I SENT TO HIM ABOUT HIS FRIEND ADAM NICKERL WHO IS PRESENTLY SERVING A MISSION IN SPAIN:
|Tyler's Friend, Adam Nickerl (in the center) is serving a mission in Spain. |
He and his companion (on the left) have been translating Spanish to English for
FROM ADAM'S MOM: For the past few weeks, Elder Adam Nickerl has had the opportunity to translate for Tyler Haws and his wife, Summer at their church meetings in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He also enjoyed an American meal in their home this past week. He's really enjoyed their company!
I TOLD TYLER CLANCY I had to lookup and see where Tyler HAWS was playing these days. Obviously Spain, but here’s a tad more info:
After spending a few months playing on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ summer league team, former BYU guard Tyler Haws is heading to Spain. The Spanish team, Obradoiro Clube de Amigos do Baloncesto, made the announcement on its website.
The team in Galicia, in the northwest region of Spain, had extended an offer to him earlier this summer. In his senior season, BYU’s all-time leading scorer averaged 22 points, four rebounds and two assists per game.
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO SEE AN AWESOME VIDEO OF TYLER HAWS IN ACTION, CHECK THIS OUT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEIhhTQ1w10
|Contemplating Taylor Swift and life out in the CCSM|
|Playing Disc golf (glorified frizbee) in the pouring rain with ELDER STARK.|
HE is the one playing volleyball at BYU and we are going to room together!