Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Helping the Despondent and Poor

It is sad to see those who are left to beg on the streets for their support. Such a scene was never typical of my home town in Palmer Alaska but as I've traveled outside to the lower 48 and to Mexico it becomes more apparent. There are people without homes and without food who need help. Granted I've learned that some have put themselves in this unhappy situation because of poor choices and some even use it to exploit the generous. When walking around Temple Square and downtown Salt Lake it's difficult to avoid the beggars. I even asked friends as to what I should do. Some are asking for money and most advertise simply for help. But to those who refuse anything but money I hesitate. Then I found one way in which I can help these people when they will accept my help.
This last Sunday I was driving back into Provo from visiting a friend's mission farewell. Coming down Center st. there are a few people who strategically place themselves in the high traffic area and solicit help from passersby in cars. As I pulled up to a stop light near one man who looked terribly depressed and just miserable I wanted to help him. I had maybe a couple bucks in my wallet and thought of what he might spend that money on. Then I remembered the bag of home made chicken spaghetti I had left in my back seat from lunch. Rolling down my window I offered the food and he gracious accepted it saying, "God bless you brother."
If I keep food, even just a little, this is something I can offer to those who beg without worry. I hope that God bless my efforts so that these people will improve their lives and eventually pull out of their poverty.

 Doctrine and Covenants 42:30 And behold, thou wilt remember the apoor, and bconsecrate of thy properties for their csupport that which thou hast to impart unto them, with a covenant and a deed which cannot be broken.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Just Remembered

Of course I'm up late. Does my leg still hurt? Silly question. Not as much, though.

Last summer was possibly my last summer of working at the party store with Micah. Though we've said that for years since we started a summer job there back in 2006(?). Just watch, we'll end up there again.
Anyways. It's Special Events Alaska now but back in the good days it was the VRC(Valley Rental Center).
Long hours and ever changing work schedules. Our life was devoted to that job throughout the summer wedding season. But we enjoyed ourselves.
Kareoke in the work vans/trucks.
Recording these sessions and sending them to our boss.
Seeing fantastically filthy rich properties in backwoods Alaska.
Driving down those long dusty roads that seems like they will take us to our death.
Taco Bell runs in the middle of the night since we've been working all day.
Battling the elements to ensure that this bride will get her wedding day inside a nice warm tent.
Dancing on the long drives without our shirts.
Driving around town in a zebra costume just for advertisement.
Hiding in cardboard boxes just to jump out at my unsuspecting co workers (Some twice in the same day).
All the dirty jokes told by my boss and good friend.
Finding those silly drywall stilts and having a fantastic half n hour with Micah. Until we found out they didn't belong to our boss and frantically taking them off so the nice Hispanic man can have them before we're discovered.

These are just a few of the fabulous memories. One of them from last summer is especially funny.
On the drive between Anchorage and Wasilla we have about 45-60 minutes of drive time.
We drive a small (or big) van with a decal on the side labeling us the "Party Van" complete with bouncy houses, tents and what not.
Sometimes kids stare.
Well this day we stared back. And we kind of followed the vehicle.
Seriously this kid gave us a hardcore angry face. So we stared him down. He was definitely still in a car-seat.
Little did we know but at the helm of this particular mini van was a large black man. After about 10-15 minutes (or was it 20?) we caught the attention and annoyance of the large black man. He slowed enough to give us an angry and concerned look. To which we responded with a funny face (I think... maybe not).
Either way we trailed each other for a short while before they took an exit just south of Eagle River and waves of goodbye were exchanged.
Why don't we stare at each other while riding passenger? It's awful fun. Especially when you have a willing participant. It helps when they're 6 too.
How I enjoy remembering.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Learning to Crawl

Apparently we sometimes get injured and said complication doesn't decide to surface as an issue until some months later.
Such was the case with my right leg.
Last August I was hiking with my good friend Micah. Our goal: Pioneer Peak. A 6,400 ft peak sitting prominently in our home valley. One sunny weekday we woke early and tackled the mountain. 4-5 hours up there came a blustery wind that threatened to blow us off the ridge. It was cold and discouraging. We decided the best decision was to go back down and try another day. It didn't take long before my expert hiking friend decided to jog down the mountain. Now, we have bears in Alaska and as native Alaskans we try to be conscious of this. As he ran down I did my best to keep up so I wasn't separated and more vulnerable. 2 hours later we are down at the bottom, shaky and exhausted. My right leg began to cramp and tighten up. I decided to do nothing about it and went on my merry way. 6 months later and here I am, sitting on my couch in a funny position, trying not to aggravate the nerves and muscles in my right leg.
For no apparent reason it decided that Monday was the day to let me know how much it hated what I've done to it. It seems that plans have been made between my leg, lower back, and even my hips. All employed in debilitating me and preventing me from doing a whole lot of anything.
Oh I went to the doctor that very day. A sports doctor who worked on my leg last semester when it gave me trouble after work outs. He welcomed me to the torture chamber and massaged it a bit, stuck me with some needles and even worked on stretching out my hip. This took place in about 45 minutes. Tuesday morning found me hobbling to class and by mid afternoon I was throwing in the towel. My good friend Christina picked me up from campus and amid clenching, cringing, and crying, I made my way to my apartment couch where I laid in wait for my home teacher/friends/anyone to come and give me a blessing.
I slept a couple hours last night but not until 6 in the morning. Most of the time has been spent lying on the living room floor finding new ways in which my leg hates to be situated.
But, I went to my friend Veda, a massage therapist. Licensed too! She worked and worked on me for about an hour and a half this evening. And I walked. I walked home.
Mind you I've been lying on my back for almost 24 hours (except the occasional slow crawl to the bathroom.) Right now I'm evening sitting.
It still hurts. My leg still hates me, my lower back as even joined the argument. But that's OK. I have another appointment with Veda on Friday and things will get better. I will dance again.

On another note.
I made a duct tape rose for Rachel and apparently I got her favorite colors right :) I asked her if she'd stick with me for Valentine's Day. She said yes. We'll find out what that all means when it comes I guess.

Here's to you world. Thank you God for giving me hope.