21 March 2011

My Totally Awesome Journey down to Argentina

Summary: This is a summary for all of those that may pass by my lil’ ol’ Blog.  This is a story of one ruggedly handsome, studly young man and his journey to a foreign land in the pursuit for his exotic latina named Maria.  This fantastic story has been edited for content.  :o)

March 17th, 2011

5:00 am MST- A horrific, barren time of day.  I awoke to my iPod’s alarm in a king-sized memory foam bed.  Not only is it hard to get up at that time, but a memory foam bed is irresistible to leave.  With a huge yawn, I walked to the bathroom to take my shower before my great adventure.  After my quick rinse-off of a shower, I hurried and did some last minute cramming into two suitcases.  Then it was time to cram my two suitcases into the trunk of my car.  We then hit the road to the airport.

5:54 am MST- En route to the airport.  It was pitch black on the freeway as we prepared to exit into the Salt Lake City International Airport.  I think the “Int’l” in the photo stands for “Internal” because I’ve never known of any international flights to go through Salt Lake, I’m sure I’m wrong, but I’m just saying…

Instead of everyone being angry, I think they were all too tired to care.
6:16 am MST- I just get done checking in my luggage and getting my plane ticket from Skywest.  I go to sit down.  I had to take out two packages of Reese’s Buttercups, and wedding accessories to drop my luggage by a pound and a half to qualify for the free criteria.  As I sit on a bench waiting for my mom to go park my car, I pull out my “breakfast” which consisted of some dinner rolls, strawberries, and a sunny d all inside of my zip-lock sock bag.  My mother calls me as I’m eating a little breakfast.  She tells me that she’s already inside the airport standing in line for me because it is a long one.  I go and meet up with her.  I thought the line was horrific, little did I know what other unrulely lines I’d be standing in later on in my Totally Awesome Journey.

6:40 am MST- I start going through Airport Security.  I first got to walk through the big awe-inspiring X-Ray Machine.  It zap all kinds of radiation through my body as it attempted to find some kind of dangerous concealed weapon.  The only weapon I had on me was my intelligence!  I had forgotten to take off my money belt that hides under  so I had to get a pat down by a big black man.  That was scary on so many levels.  The Police Uniform, the white latex gloves, the darkness of his skin, the patting of my sides, take your pick.

7:35 am MST- I’m sitting on the plane waiting to take off.  I get the whole aisle and window seat to myself.  The plane takes off shortly thereafter.  The following are a few photos I took on the plane:

I thought the Sprite can was very artistic.
No worries the stewardess will bring you more water
I sat next to a guy that was very social when we took our first stop at Oakland. He told his story how he’d worked for Alaska Airlines for more than 15 years. He never specifically shared what he did, but he seemed to have plenty of experience in flying, as he told me what the plane was doing as we were landing, and identifying different landmarks in LA from the sky. I pointed out the Hollywood sign out in the distance and he treated it like I act when I see a buffalo at Yellowstone (something rather over-rated). He told me he was flying to Florida to pick up a car to drive it cross country then turn it into a dealership.

10:35 am PST- I am barely getting off the plane at the LAX anticipating a 4 hour layover, but still antsy to get checked in and wait for my plane. I had to go find my luggage at the baggage claim. It took forever for them to send the luggage to the baggage claim. I waited around for a while questioning if I had the right baggage claim, but I started to recognize people from my flight, so I knew I was in the right place. After what seemed like 40 minutes I finally found my suitcase and then it was on to my next adventure… checking back in.
I made it to an information booth to which some elderly people told me which terminal I needed to go. I was at terminal 1 and I had to go to 7. Fortunately there was a bus that came around every few minutes to drop people off. I got on and then enjoyed the ride through the other six terminals. I took an observation of all the different people. Some Asians, some Blacks, and some Hispanics. I was the only Caucasian on the bus. When I got off the bus I went to check-in into United Airlines, but it turned out that I was supposed to check-in at Continental. So I took my two suitcases and walked out the doors down to Terminal 6 to check-in.
At Terminal Six I typed in my confirmation number, and I got ready to check on my luggage. The attendant weighed my bags, fortunately they were still under the allotted weight. The attendant then told me that I would have to pay $30 for my second suitcase. I was rather confused needless to say. I attempted to reaffirm my understanding that international flights there was no charge for the second suitcase. She was stern on her answer, no. It felt like she was as heartless as a female mass murderer on deathrow, beyond any feeling. I paid the $30 then went on to security.
See any relation to the wheelchair and the statement?
After passing through security I promptly found my gate. As a convenience, Samsung had plugs to charge phones and iPod to which I took advantage. As I sat across from the table where my phone was charging, I took a picture of their remodeling process.
I thought it was pretty dang crazy that there was an electronic vending machine for Best Buy. It was crazy! I just thought that was worth mentioning.
2:43 pm PST- Finally on the plane getting ready to take off. I sat in an aisle seat at 25C. I was ecstatic to see monitors mounted on the back of the seats. Entertainment for the long flight! I watch a bit of Leprechaun on SciFi. After being in the air for about thirty minutes, the “free” service stopped. If I wanted to watch more, I’d have to pay $6 by sliding my debit card! Rotten crooks!
I sat next to an elderly on the plane. She told me she was from Buenos Aires. She told me how she came to the states to visit her daughter that had recently given birth two months ago. She told me this around seven times on the way to Houston. She also told me repeatedly that her other two sons were English teachers. She didn’t speak a lick of English, I translated the majority for her what was being said in English from the pilot. She also told me she was a Jew and that her parents came to Argentina from Israel. She was interesting to listen to, but needless to say, with her repeatedness, I rejoiced getting away from her when we landed.
8:28 pm CST- I’m running around in the airport trying to find a Wendys for a burger because I’ve been told that Continental is an extremely cheap airliner that charges for their dinners. I was believing it because I had to pay $30 for my second suitcase. I finally found a Wendys and bought my dinner and started walking back to my gate with my bag of food, and drink in one hand, and in the other I had my phone, talking to my parents.

30 November 2010

Sugar-Salem versus West Jefferson

This evening I went to watch my youngest brother play basketball for Sugar-Salem's varsity basketball team.  The outcome of the game doesn't really matter, even though Sugar won, what matters is the disrespect for the United States of America as shown by a few people from West Jefferson.  Before you read on, please be aware that I will do my best not to be stereotypical nor racist.
The major issue I had was that there were some young men across the gym that were around 15 or 16 that were hispanic.  When the cheerleaders came out with both the Idaho State Flag and American Flag, everyone stood and put their hands over their hearts, except for these three boys.  The Sugar-Salem Pep Band started to play the National Anthem.  These hispanic boys just stood there and didn't put their hands over their hearts.
That is what bothered me.  No respect.  I did promise to do my best at not being stereotypical nor racist, so I won't question whether they were American or not, but regardless, American or not, their act was very disrespectful.
I could understand if they were members of a particular religion, that prohibits them from "making oaths."  But this is the National Anthem, there is no oath.  It is as harmless as singing any other song.
I also understand that perhaps these young men really weren't American, maybe they were from another country and to that I say, CALL THE BORDER PATROL!(Just kidding Zach, I put that one in there just for you!).  I do understand that there is a possibility that they may have not been American, but if that is the case, I asked a couple of my non-American friends about "the incident."  They too agreed that their actions were disrespectful and that if they weren't American, they are here and they should show respect to their "hosts."  That respect would have been to stand and put their hands on their hearts.
It also bothered me that Mr. Luke (the teacher that is in charge of athletic activities) requested that everyone to remove their hats before the National Anthem was to be played and informed the audience that they were more than welcomed to sing along.  Many questions in my mind arose.  My main question was: really?  Have people become so ignorant that they have to be told that they need to remove their hats out of respect?  Do people no longer remember that the Star Spangled Banner has lyrics?  Look at competitors at the Olympics when they win gold some of them stare blankly at the flag, no motion in their lips.
As I talked to another person about my concern, he informed me that there are particular politicians, celebrities, and other influential people that don't respect Old Glory.
I close with this question, what can be done?

28 November 2010


I wish to clarify that these are not my words.  This document I acquired in the mission and after I returned home, I typed this all up from its copied written form.  I found it something of interest and I hope who ever reads this will enjoy it, but I do have to warn the reader it is a bit anti-Catholic.

            As an introduction, let me explain that I first stumble onto this due to a very lengthy discussion with some Jehovah’s Witnesses.  During this one sided discussion, I was very bored, but suddenly became aware that this didn’t have anything to do with what they were presenting, but referred directly to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
            I was serving as a missionary in Campeche, Campeche, Mexico, and lived next door to the University of Campeche Library.  I did some study there concerning Jewish days, months, and years, and some concerning the dates certain kings were crowned, etc…..
            Over about 3 months, I developed this presentation, and showed it to a couple of Elders.  When we had a district conference, President Hatch wanted me to show it to him.  Three months later, Apostle Marion G. Romney asked me to show it to him.
            He listened and gave a couple of suggestions.  He told me that it was very interesting, probably a true interpretation, and a testimony builder… but it was not recognized as church doctrine.  I could show it and explain it to anyone, but I was to first explain that this is my interpretation and not the church’s.  He encouraged me to show it to anyone as long as I explained this very important fact.  By telling you this, I have filled my obligation to you.
            I have divided this up into sections, wherein I quote directly from the King James Version of the Bible and immediately following (and separated by a short line).  I have placed comments and interpretations before going on to the next section.  On the parts I feel I need to emphasize, I have underlined them.

Daniel 12:11
            And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
            There will be a period of 1290 days from the time of the discontinuance of the daily sacrifice until the desolate abomination – until is used in other versions of the Bible, it does not alter the meaning of the KJV (King James Version).
Ezekiel 4:6
            And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again oh thy right side and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
            In many places in the scriptures, the Lord speaks in terms of one “day” equals 1 year.  Moses was to lead the children of Israel into the wilderness for forty days.
            This is one assumption we will make: We will convert all days to years. ---incidentally, in Spanish, it repeats the phrase: “A day for a year, a day for a year.  I have appointed thee.”
2 Kings 17:16
            And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven and served Baal.
Now, this event according to my calculation, occurred in 720 B.C.  The Chronology chart in the Bible Dictionary states that this event occurred in 721 B.C. – both dates are of some significance.  For the purpose of brevity, we will assume that I am right (720).  When we finish, we will show the results both ways. [Remember that 721 BC is the earlier date.]
Sacrifices were performed also later, but for the most part, they were done without authority.  (The Jewish Church was in a state of apostasy during Jesus’s life).  At this time, the Assyrians (Babylonians) took them captive and there was much idolatry.
2 Kings 17:23-24
            So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.  And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
            This merely pinpoints the time of the captivity of the children of Israel (721-720 BC)
            Assuming that they left all the commandments of the Lord at the time of their captivity, then it follows that the desolate abomination referred to in Daniel 12:11 would occur 1290 years later.  720 BC plus 1290 years would be in 570 AD (Refer to chart).
            Christ’s church was organized close to 30 AD, and began to grow very rapidly due to the efforts of the Apostles and missionaries.  The apostasy began to become prevalent immediately after the death of Christ but, according the James Talmage (The Great Apostasy), the church continued to grow.
            Close to the year 100 AD however the number of members of the church began to decline more rapidly (JET The Great Apostasy).  This was from (1) a higher apostasy rate than baptism rate, and (2) persecution was killing off many of the faithful members, and (3) communications with church authorities were nearly impossible.
            In the year 306, the Universal (Catholic) Church was organized by Constantine.
            In the year 325, the Catholic Church was made the state religion and mandatory for all subjects of the Holy Roman Empire.  Records are found of times where a few believers of Christ would not submit themselves to this mandatory “Christian” religion as they did not want to “adulterate” their faith.
            J. Talmage says that there is evidence of true believers of Jesus Christ, and of the necessity of Priesthood as late as the year 490, and that some authorities have projected a date as late as 530.  May I also make a suggestion of the year 570? --The year of the Desolate Abomination?  (Maketh like a desert --Spanish version)
            Dr. William Smith LLD “Bible Dictionary of England” (in his first original four volumes published prior to 1884, when the American revised and condensed copy was printed).  It stated that the latest known date that the priesthood was on the Earth was 570.
Revelations 12:1
            And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
            In sections 8-12, I am quoting President Joseph Fielding Smoth, quoted while he was an apostle.
            This is Christ’s Church (woman), celestialized (sun symbolic of the celestial kingdom.) Moon under her feet (Moon is a symbol of purity.)  Twelve stars  (founded on 12 apostles).  --Remember in Nephi, how a bad church was represented by a bad woman, a whore?  This heavenly woman is the true church.
Rev. 12:2
            And she being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
            This child which the woman carried is the Priesthood which would soon come forth.
Rev. 12:3
            And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
            John here refers to our pre-existence wherein Satan warred against the Lord.  The seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns will be explained later.
Rev. 12:4
            And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
            Satan’s role is defined.  War in heaven.  Satan was cast out.  One-third of the hosts of heaven were also cast out.  Satan tried to destroy the Priesthood as it was brought forth.  He has been successful in every dispensation.
Rev. 12:5
            And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
            The Priesthood came forth.  Who was to rule all nations with THE WORD OF GOD, but it was taken from the earth into the heavens.
Rev. 12:6
            And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
            And the church flew into the wilderness, or was taken from the earth, to remain there for a thousand two hundred and threescore years (see section 2).  Adding 570 (the year of the desolate abomination) and 1260, we obtain 1830, the year of the restoration of the organization of the church.
Rev. 12:7-9
            And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
            And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
            And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
            In case you missed it the first time, John is going to give you a second chance.  Once again, he backs up the pre-existence and talks about the great War in heaven.  This time, he comes right out and positively identifies the dragon . . . Satan.
Rev. 12:10-12
            And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
            Rejoicing in Heaven as Satan was cast out.  The inhabitants of earth and heaven may overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb or the Atonement of Christ.
Rev. 12:13
            And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
            When Satan saw that he was cast out, he persecuted the church and the Priesthood.
Rev. 12:14
            And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
            Refer to section 13.  Several other versions, including the Living Bible refer to these times as three and one-half years.  A Jewish “time” or year consisted of 360 days.  (The five days of the feast of the Passover did not belong to any year.)  Assuming that times (plural) means 2, then a time, times, and half a time would be three and a half times.  3.5 x 360 = 1260 days, the same time period mentioned in section 14.
Rev. 12:15-17
            And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
            And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
            This may refer to the dispensation of Noah and the flood.  It is interesting however, that this is the only place in the entire Bible that hints that the inhabitants of the earth in old testament times had a testimony of Jesus Christ.  Up to now we thought that only in the Book of Mormon.  Was there reference made to the belief in Jesus Christ before the meridian of time.
Rev. 13:1
            And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
            According to Bruce R. McConkie’s first edition of Mormon Doctrine, this refers to the Catholic Church.  The above mention book is my source for section 19-26 and sections 29-31.
Rev. 13:2
            And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
            The Catholic Church gets its authority from Satan.
Rev. 13:3
            And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
            The split-up of the Catholic Church.  Remember that there were 7 heads . . . the seven bishops of the Catholic Church . . . two main ones (Rome and Constantinople) who excommunicated each other.  They both survived.  (The deadly wound was healed.)
Rev. 13:4
            And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
            Many times, on my mission, I heard people say “The Catholic Church is so big, who are you to fight against it?”
Rev. 13:5
            And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
            Power was given unto the beast or to Satan with the Pope for 42 months.  A Jewish month has 30 days.  (30 x 42 =1260 days or years see section 2)  This is the same amount of time mentioned in sections 13 and 17.
Rev. 13:6
            And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
            One of the most common ways that there is to blaspheme the name of God is to take it in vain.  One of the ways to blaspheme the names of those who live in heaven would be to worship the “saints” as do the Catholics.
Rev. 13:7
            And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
            Satan’s efforts were successful in the fact that he was able to destroy 6 other dispensations through apostasy.  Power was given unto him over the whole earth.
Rev. 13:8
            And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
            All those who were cast out of our Father’s presence (not written in the book of the life of the Lamb) worship Satan.
Rev. 13:9
            If any man have an ear, let him hear.
            If you’re interested, I’m going to explain.
Rev. 13:10
            He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.
            Joseph Smith said that this verse does not belong . . . it’s out of context.  He suggested that some scribes wrote this saying in the margin, and some other scribe probably picked it up and placed it in the script.
Rev. 13:11-12
            And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
            And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
            This other beast would be the Protestants who exercise the line of authority of the Catholic Church in front of them.  They worship the same false God as do the Catholics.
            “In front of them” is an interpretation from the Valera version of the Spanish Bible.
Rev. 13:13-14
            And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
            And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
            Although all these churches are false, Satan helps them to do many miracles to deceive men (such as faith healings).
Rev. 13:15
            And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.
            A plainer prophecy of the “Holy Inquisition” could not have been written.  During the Dark Ages, thousands and thousands of non-Christians were killed “to help God keep only believers on the earth.”  This continued even into the 1600’s, and is evidented by the mass slaying of Indians in Mexico and South America, who did not wish to become catholics.
Rev. 13:16
            And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
            In 1210, the Catholic Church issued an edict, declaring that everyone must come to the church and confess their sins to the priest.  This wasn’t very popular, and they had poor response.  So in 1215, the same year as the Magna Carta, the Catholic Church began marking the right hand or the forehead (with ashes) of every person who came to confess.  If they did not have this mark on them they could not enter the market place.  Without refrigeration, or canned goods, these people had to go to the market-place almost every day.  This forced them to confess.  This event is still celebrated and commemorated once a year on Ash Wednesday.
Rev. 13:17-18
            And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
            Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
            Here is wisdom . . . this is what John says when he is going to explain things.  “Let him that hat understanding” . . . and of course We do.  Let’s count the number.
            Here I refer to the crown of the Pope.  One it are three inscriptions.  One of which is the following:

            Vicarivs comes from the same Latin root as “Vicarious” or substitute.  “Filii” means “son of” or “friend of.”  “Dei” comes from the same latin word as “deity” in English or “Dios” in Spanish.  In other words, this inscription means “Substitue for the Son of God,” which is one of his titles.
            Since the Pope lives in Rome, wouldn’t it be fair to use Roman Numerals?

V = 5

F = no value
I = 1

I = 1
C = 100

L = 50
A = no value

I = 1
R = no value

I = 1
I = 1

D = 500
V = 5

E = no value
S = no value

I = 1


Grand Total = 666 --- the number of the beast.

            Apostle Romney showed me one of the other inscriptions, but like a fool, I failed to write it down . . . It also added to be 666.
            Reflecting back now---If we had used the beginning date of 721 B.C. as it is shown in the Bible Dictionary’s Chronology chart, we would have ended up with a date of 1829 AD--- the year of the restoration of the Priesthood . . . Either way, it works.
            Now, let’s look at a few related versus in Chapter 17 of Revelation.
First compare Rev 17:1-5 with the discussion of the Great Whore that sitteth upon the many waters that is found in I Nephi Chapters 11-15.
Rev 17:6
            And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints; and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.  (Other versions say “wondering” instead of “admiration.”)

Rev. 17:9
            And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
            John is telling us where the bad church (woman) sits.  Rome is famous for being founded on seven hills.
Rev. 17:12
              And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
            These ten kings or nations are the same nations as are mentioned in Daniel’s interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  They were part of the Holy Roman Empire that the Catholic Church ruled.
Rev. 17:18
            And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
            What city could that possibly be, other than Rome.
D&C 5:14
And to none else will I grant this power, to receive this same testimony among this generation, in this the beginning of the rising up and the coming forth of my church OUT OF THE WILDERNESS—clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.
            This revelation was given in March 1829, two months before the restoration of the Priesthood, and a year and a month before the restoration of the organization of the church.
D&C 33:5
And verily, verily, I say unto you, that this church have I established and called forth out of the wilderness.
            This was given in October 1830.  Six months after the Organization of the church.
            This presentation is something that I have put together.  I feel that it helps to strengthen my testimony.  However, my testimony is not dependant on the information here presented.  I know that the church of Jesus Christ was indeed restored and that Christ himself is at its head.  I love the church and testify of its truthfulness

21 November 2010

What I see in my Nametag

There are many things that could be said and observed as a missionary, in the service of the Lord for these two years.  The mission can be learned from carefully observing a simple thing, that all missionaries have in common, a small little possession, a missionary nametag.  It is more than a nametag nicely situated on my left-breast pocket on a clean, white dress shirt.  There are many things that can be seen, that my eyes have often overlooked on this familiar nametag.  So, I am now starting to take note of these things, which I am becoming better acquainted with in the mission field.
One of the most common things to first grab my attention, is the title of Elder, followed by my last name.  Both words are large and capitalized.  In ordinary print, capitalization is used to draw attention, it stands out to the normal eye.  I’m someone important with something important to share with all.
Elder is a special title that I was given when I was set-apart for two years.  In the mission it is often asked what does Elder mean, as missionaries, our response, is generally quick, and often not carefully thought out as some say it means missionary, but it is more than that; it is a title given to all worthy holders of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood.  This response adds more, to just an ordinary missionary, it’s the title of one who has the divine power and authority to act in God’s name.
Following the title of Elder, is my last name.  It gives me an identity and singles me out from all the other missionaries.  I’m an individual that has a special character and my own teaching skills.  I carry my last name with pride not only because I am a representative of Jesus Christ, but also I am representing my eternal family who are thousands of miles from my presence.  In some cultures, the act of one individual, not only reflects on the individual themselves, but also on their entire family.  What I may do or say in the mission, does indeed, reflect on my family, as well as the church, and also my nation.
The word Elder and my last name are impacted.  It’s a symbol of how both the mission will have an impact on my life as well as the impact I will make on a family as I teach them, baptize them into the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and watch them go to the temple, or perhaps it could be an impact of simply planting a few seeds for future missionaries.
Elder and my last name are together on the same line.  This shows me how my companion and I can work together in unity to accomplish a great work.  Where there is one, the other is always at the side.  Both of us have an important job and responsibility that we accomplish as we work together.  We both strengthen each other.
Labeled upon my nametag is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  The title of the church is written in a foreign tongue, which shows, the true church of Christ knows no bounds, in regards to nationality, race, language, etc.  This reminds of the church’s progress from a small humble beginning from a small little cottage membership to a world-wide membership of more than 12 million people.
The bold, white lettering is strongly displayed over a black background.   The color white often times is thought of as a pure color, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is indeed a pure church to which follows pure doctrine taught of Christ.  The interior of this missionary nametag is also white, with the exterior being black; it is symbolism of the light of truth desperately fighting its way forth through the darkness of these days to help lighten a soul that hungers to know the truth.
Upon breaking down the title of the church, I have learned more of what I am exactly representing in the mission.
THE CHURCH is derived from the Greek word, Ecclesia, which means an assembly called together. [1]  This is what we do every Sunday; help assemble members and investigators together, “to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel”.[2] It is a grand privilege, helping others come unto the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
JESUS CHRIST is the most important word that is on my nametag.  Being bigger than the rest of the words in the church’s title and being on its own line, His name is a testimony in what and whom we believe in.  With Jesus Christ’s name on my chest, it reminds me in every action and word in which I say, whether big or small, that I am both an example and a representative of Jesus Christ.  Our Savior, Redeemer, and Elder Brother is whom we strive to teach as “the perfect example”,[3] and how I strive to live every day.
LATTER-DAY SAINTS is what exactly we are, followers of Jesus Christ in these Latter-Days as prophesied with a restoration of the true church of Christ in the fullness of times.  In some South American cultures the people look at Saints as people that are very special and sacred so we are someone that the people can view as a special, sacred servant of Christ.
I have also noticed the rounded corners on my nametag.  This shows how I will smoothen the rough edges as I help others begin to live the principles of Christ’s teachings.  The soften, four corners also show in the four corners of the world that people are softening their hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ and that we are accepted in many corners of the world and among many cultures.
With the reflection of the light, there are several scrapes, scratches, and smears.  It shows work and dedication through joys and sorrows, acceptances and rejections, trials, and faith.  Every mark had made a difference, large or small in my life and the lives of others.
The last thing I have noticed, the back of my nametag outstretches the front.  In the mission, we are always pushing, and stretching ourselves to be better servants.  We are always perfecting ourselves in the Lord’s work.  We accomplish the Lord’s work through the help of our companions and by goal setting.  Symbolically I am the smaller part in front; the larger part in back is my companion, which I am always teaching, the things that I have learned, so that he will be a better missionary than myself.  That he may accomplish more than I have accomplished.
As a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I am thankful for everyday I have to learn more of my calling.  Observing my missionary nametag has helped me learn more about myself and what I represent.  I know with more time and experience I will learn more of who I am and what I represent.
-Elder Nathan R. Somsen
Argentina Mendoza Mission
September 2004 – September 2006

[1] See Bible Dictionary, “Church”, 645

[2] Preach My Gospel (2004), vii

[3] See Bible Dictionary, “Christ”, 633

18 November 2010


     I'm not much for doing the whole blog thing, honestly I think of a blog as a glorified twitter account, but I couldn't think of any other place to put whatever is on my mind.  I have ideas and sometimes I need to get them out rather than let them disappear into the immense spaces of my mind and I wanted to share them with others.  I guess I shall go ahead and introduce myself.
     My name is Nate and I'm engaged to a very special young lady by the name of Maria.  That's honestly the most important thing in my life at the moment.  Other details that aren't as important are that I'm working at a local pizza joint, going to school at BYU-Idaho, and that's about it.
     I'm sick of writing and I'm sure that no one is really reading this so here ends the initializing of Somsenater, content to follow in the following days, weeks, months, and years(?).