Monday, December 3, 2012

Light it Up

Fire Fighter or Fire Lighter

We had the privilege to be instructed by the BYU Athletic Director, Tom Holmoe. He spoke about relationships. He said there are two kinds of people, fire fighters or fire lighters.  You normally associate fire fighters as heroes. They are the ones who go out in the fires and save people. In this scenario, a fire is the thing that inspires us. If you are a fire fighter you are just putting people down. We want to be fire lighters, inspirers, people that light it up. 

See if you can find the fire lighters and fire fighters. What is the difference?

I want to be someone who is willing to give it all to those who I know so that they will want to do the best they can. There are a few relationships that I could work on to really improve on this aspect of my life. 

1) My Dad-Last time I was home my Dad and I talked about starting a business together! Sounds fun huh. We really want to bring something new to good’ol Arkansas. We have a few ideas up in the air. It’s not the business I’m worried about, but as me and my Dad work on this together we will get closer. It’s been hard keeping in touch with him since being home from my mission. This is a great way to not only to stay in touch, but to build something more than a business, our father-son relationship. 

2) My Mom-My mom is a very inspiring person. She definitely is definitely a fire lighter. I need her more. I miss my mom, because she is often my source of strength. I have struggles and disappointments that come rather often. She was the one that helped me through them. Now it’s tougher because I don’t see her every day and don’t get to tell her what’s going on. I have the great chance to go home and be with her over Christmas. I want to take all that time with her to tell her about what is going on and then just listen to her.  

3) My brother-in-law- I really like my brother-in-law. I did miss him meeting my sister, dating my sister, becoming engaged, and in the end marring my sister. Am I mad at him for that? Absolutely not. But I don’t feel like I have a real good relationship with him.  I want to be able to see him like a brother. Someone I can hang out with. Someone I can ask advice from. I know it’s going to take a lot longer than just one sit down, but this week I will be going over to my sister’s house to watch a movie. I normally talk to my sister and he does homework. I will try to talk to him more this time.   

I actually went to visit Tom Holmoe a few days later, Friday November 30. He gave me about 20 minutes. In those 20 minutes I just asked him about some thoughts I was having about my career. He was a great help. What I noticed about him was his ability to connect. I got in there and he was so helpful. He probably has a lot bigger and more important things to do than sit down and answer a few of my goofy little questions. Because he is a fire lighter he not only gave me the time, but he gave me direction to the questions I had. 

This is the last post I have for class. I have really enjoyed this class. It was my favorite class this semester. It’s not about trying to learn facts or just pattern life after the great ones. I have been able to adventure my thoughts in this class. That’s real learning. I could take my life and apply the leadership principles I learned to progress my life rather than feel burdened down with homework. I have enjoyed all my assignments. I may not be writing again for this class, but don’t be surprised if I but another post up in the future. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Speaking of Persuasion

Kurt Mortensen
What a deja vu experience today! I had my old public speaking teacher come and teach our class. I think his main goal was to prepare us for our book presentations, but I was sent back to some good memories. His class is still my favorite class that I have taken at BYU thus far. It’s real! It’s a class that teaches you real skills and then you put them to work and practice on them. His class made a HUGE impact on my mission and my life. I can’t even thank Professor Mortensen enough. 
I remembered a lot of the things he taught today form his class. It was basically a quick version of his first class period, the basics of public speaking. What stuck out to me this time in class is how similar public speaking is to leadership. They have the same principles.  These three principles of speaking stood out to me today:

Keeping the hands moving
1) Passion-If you want to be a powerful speaker or an influential leader you have to have passion. Passion is the foundation of why you lead or why you speak. Knowing your purpose is very important. 

2) Persuasive-A leader wants to help people to become better. A speaker wants his audience to take action. In both instances the focal point is the people. You know what you want them to do, but if it is for you, then you can forget any bit of success. The success is directing people to act because it will help them. If people can trust you as a leader or a speaker they will follow and they will act.

Yes we are prepared

3) Mistakes-This is a principle that has come up probably 1,000 times this semester; or maybe just 3 or 4 times. Professor Mortensen gave a few examples of his bigger speaking mistakes, but he said you are going to make a mistake every time you speak. I know that is my biggest fear. My fear is to fail or do something wrong. My pessimistic side says, “Why try if you aren’t going to do it right or the way you expect.” I have fought this mentality for a long time. I feel like I’m 50-50 on this. My desire is to do better at having a better attitude or mentality. I want to be able to not be afraid of success. 

Presentation Goal/Statement: I will help my audience have a desire to read “Toy Box Leadership”. I will do so by using testimony, examples, stats, and a story. I will speak from my heart. My audience will feel the impact the book had on me.  I will speak without focusing on mistakes. I will be done in 6 minutes. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't Hide-Be You

That's not really me :)

This week we had a great speaker, Dean Kau. He is my BOSS, in a very round-about way. I work in the Student Leadership Office. My boss is our student lead Sarah, who reports to Angela, who reports to Br. Ward, who reports to Dean Kau. He is over the office I work in. Crazy huh! 

His presentation was on being leaders in the community. It really inspired me. In class I had some creative thoughts come into my mind. That is the first creative thing that has popped into my head in the past month. It was real inspiration because it pointed me back to the bike trip that I want to go on. 

He said told us his philosophy on working in the community. It simply is, “Don’t hide in your community.” That was a dagger to the heart. I can say I have been hiding lately from a lot of things. I’ve had a lot of stresses that has made me just want to get away from things. I have been blessed though as I have been guided from the Lord slowly but surely to get through them. 

My TA for this class Bekah asked me a question that came to my mind after this class. I work in, like I said, the Student Leadership Office. I did volunteer work in the office my freshman year. Bekah asked which I liked better. It is clearly the volunteer aspect. There is no personal gain. It is pure helping. Being in the office as an employee has been a drag. It’s like a burden to come and be there. I sit there and get paid for doing nothing. At least when I didn’t do anything before I didn’t get paid. And when I was doing things it was more rewarding.

I know that leadership in the community can be in a program at BYU, it can be in a ward, or an apartment. The two things that came to my mind where I can help in the community are the bike trip and helping out a local basketball team. The bike trip has just been popping up all semester. I can’t ignore it. Dean Kau quoted a student that said, “Choose to be committed and go for it.” Helping a basketball team has been something that I have thought about in the past 2 months and came back during class. I feel like that is something I know and love and can share with others. 

I’m trying to find myself again. I’ve been very lost since coming home and I feel like I have only got more lost trying to be some new person. I feel like there are good habits I have picked up but for the most part I feel like I have been forcing a lot of things. Maybe it’s not forcing, but rather a pre conceived notion of what I should be as a return missionary that I disappeared. Instead I need to be me. I need to do things that I enjoy, service is one of those. I have got so caught up in school and trying to find the answer to what I’m going to do with my life that I have just got more confused. A better way to think about it is I have found 99 things that I don’t want to do and I am 1 closer! 

I want to lead by being happy again. I feel like next semester is going to be very different. I feel like I’m going to make some changes.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Foundations of My Life

As a missionary I actually, not knowing, created my own code of ethics. The week before I left I pondered on what I wanted to make of my mission.  These are the things that came out: Faithful, Grateful, and Love.

This is how I fulfilled these foundational stones as a missionary:

Faithful—is a term that describes patience in affliction, diligence against opposition, trusting the will of God. I can say I worked my hardest in each area. Did I always know what to do or how to do it? No, but I knew that God would help me to know and to do. I know part of being faithful is the work of harvesting and the work of preparing.  Sometimes you have to start from scratch and build it up whether it is a relationship, area, ward, etc.  In those times your faithful labor goes to establishing. Other time it is your time to execute. That is when you make the most of what God has laid before you.  I have played both roles and my only regret is I wish I would have turned to the Lord more when I did not know what to do.  I would ask the Lord to forgive me if I ever thought to give up. 

Grateful—I am very grateful for the testimony I have received of the Plan of Salvation and of the Restoration. I am grateful for each companion. I am grateful for each area South Chase East, Apopka, Buena Vista, Osceola East. I am grateful for opposition I received in each area and also for the success.  I am grateful I could be humbled. I am grateful for the two years of service. I have had to learn to live off of what you have and make the most of what has been given to you.  You can look at the same thing in two different ways, it is better to look at it with light and happiness. 

Love—I love my mission completely and fully.  When I see it in God’s eyes I know I did my best.  I tried my hardest. I know I loved because the things I have learned have become a part of me.  I know I loved because the Lord loved me enough to polish me off at the 
end.  I learned how love is correcting, love is showing mercy, love is judging righteously, love is not make judgments. I know love is repenting.

Ironically I wrote this next section first. I went and found the responses above. It’s cool to see how my perspective has changed. Those weren’t just answers, but values that have become a part of me. This is how I plan to fulfill these as I continue on with my life:

Faithful-Is to trust others and allow them to trust you by keeping commitments that you make with people. I will be true to my lovely spouse—I will endure trials to keep my family together—I will strive to have no empty chairs—I will be obedient to the Lord and what He asks me to do—I will diligently provide for my family—I will stand true to my covenants I have made with the Lord

Grateful—I will quickly turn to the Lord to remember him by writing in my journal--I will be eternally grateful for the lessons I learned on my mission—I will be grateful for the my parents—I will be grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ—I will be grateful for the necessity of life that the Lord provides—I will be grateful for my family—I will be grateful when the Lord provides a way or relieves me from struggles

Love—It isn’t just a great affection for someone. To love is to help someone to become their best. That means sometimes there is need for correction, encouragement, patience, telling them the truth, opening our hearts to each other. I will love the Lord my God with all my heart, might, mind, and strength—I will love eternal companion forever—I will love my children—I will love the circumstances I will be placed in

Friday, October 26, 2012

Motivation Matters

My sister's team won district when I was home. Motivation Matters!

I missed last week’s blog because I went home for the weekend. Yes, that is in Arkansas. Yes that is far. Yes it was great. I really needed it. It was a trip that I took because I needed to really think about how things are in my life and where they are going. I seriously got to think about a lot while I was at home. It was great. 

PG football undefeated. Motivation Matters
Class this week was really good because the trip was really exciting, but when I got to the airport I wanted to cry. I wanted to turn around and go home. I really didn’t want to come back. A class about motivation was what I needed. In class when Jessica asked the question “what motivates you,” my mind went through a process. What motivates me? What do I do? Why do I do it? 

So I made a list of things I do: workout, have scripture study, school, homework, eating, and work. 

Then I grouped them into categories: 1) workout and study 2) school and homework 3) Eating/Break 4) Work

Then I wrote why I do them:
1) To have a calm peaceful day, working ahead, preparing, focused on longer lasting things
2) have to make it in the world, parents are paying
3) get hungry, enjoy a time to stop and relax
SF NL Champs. Down 3-1 in series.
Motivation Matters
4) feel like I’m contributing to my life, more self-reliant, money

It made me realize what things I am focused on and what I am doing for the right reasons. Obviously 1,3,4 are all inspired by good motives. They are things that are motivated from within. But 2 is more like I’m being forced. Sadly that is what I spend most of my time on. It’s annoying just going to school without a reason or purpose. I am trying to figure out what I want to do, but it’s just not clicking yet. I don’t want to waste my parent’s money or my time. I could be doing things more enjoyable and worth my time than just aimlessly doing homework. 

From the paragraph above and the points for why I do certain things I hope you can see that my motivation is comes from inside. I feel very strong about that. If the desire is there things will get done. You can’t force someone to do something. How do you get people to work or do things then? They need to catch the vision. Just like in any sport if you really want to participate, you have to have the ball. You can only do so much without it. You can block, screen, cover the base, but until the ball is in your hands you alone only contribute so much. The good thing is that in a family, school, work, or in social settings the vision can be held by more than one person unlike a ball. A lot of people believe that getting hyped is motivating people. That can only last so long. If someone can see where they are going they are more likely to work towards in that direction.

A good example of that is Nelson Mandela. A man that comes out of jail, becomes president, and then changes a nation! How did he do it? Two great things he did. First he had a vision. He helped those he was with to see the vision. And instead of working to get somewhere, he worked as if he was already there. His example of living what he saw inspired others. The people began to see that living in unity was a real possibility. That is what things became.  

Friday, October 12, 2012

Powerful Communication

This last week I got to watch General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I heard a lot of things I needed to. This is a perfect example of what powerful and prolific communication is. We had two great guys from the BYU Communications Department, Todd and Joe, come and talk to us about the power of communication. I thought Conference was a great example of what they talked about.

From a worlds perspective it has to be one of the greatest forms of communicating a message to a mass group of people in a specific organization. They see our leaders and must say, “Wow, how do you get everyone together like this to listen to you?” The trick isn’t them that gather. It is Christ like leadership at its finest.

“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” -Doctrine and Covenants 1:38

Listen to that power. He has so much confidence that his servants will carry his message to his children. How does he do it? He knows that his servants teach the doctrines and principles of His kingdom. In so doing, it opens the door for the Spirit to come and teach His children the ways in which they need to apply the message to each personally. Now some of you may wonder, “What is the Spirit or what is its role in this?” Simply put the Spirit is part of the God head; God, Jesus, and the Spirit. The Spirit testifies of God and Jesus Christ and their truths. Thus he is sent to us to comfort and guide us in our personal lives. A lot of people would recognize it as your conscious or a gut feeling. Well, those feelings have a real name because they are real. It is the Spirit that invites you and me to act on the messages we receive. 

What some leaders don’t understand is that communicating a message isn’t about demanding people to accept your message or even creating a specific wordy lecture that wins people over. It is presenting truths that inspire others to act. More than that, an outstanding leader’s communication is recognizing the spirit is who will carry the message to the “audience”. So if it is built on personal gain and deception, forget about it. If you are trying to bring about good, all good things come from God.  

Whether it’s in my family, work, or church I want my message built on what I believe. The two guys that spoke to us said that it is really hard to present a message you don’t really agree with. I want to be able to communicate like these men. I want to bring a true heartfelt message that creates a channel between God and my children, between God and my co-workers, between God and my fellow brethren in Christ. 

A pattern by which I have seen before in my own personal life was on my two year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ. In my service I had the opportunity to plan weekly meetings for most of my mission.  In these meetings a group of missionaries, in my surrounding areas, would meet together to work on being better missionaries. To prepare for these meetings I would evaluate performance, needs, and people that other missionaries were teaching. I would take that and the message that our mission president would want the missionaries to know and then go to God. Every time my thought and studies would begin to gain a focus. With that focus I would study around it until I felt comfortable and ready to share that message to my fellow missionaries. It was then that I knew what I would say. I can testify from personal experience the more I prepared and then relied on the spirit the message was always clear and there was a difference. In summary, the pattern by which I share my message is:

1 Taking information to the Lord and seeking His guidance 

2 Wait for a direction from the Spirit
3 Decide to follow direction, ponder it, and study around it

4 Open my mouth and let the power of the Spirit come out  

Friday, October 5, 2012


"INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. 
The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ."- Joe Butt
I love Batman 
(disclaimer some say Batman has another personality type. I think we share it)

Alright, I know I need to write about the great class I had by Brandon the Great, but I wanted to give our TA’s a shout out. They gave us a great question this week. They asked us to take a personality test. I thought it was so interesting. I’ve taken one before and got the same result, but I read some of the tendencies of people that are INFJs and I was blown away by this website <>. Any random quotes I may put in this post come from two articles written by Joe Butt and Marina Heiss. 

I want to specifically quote Marina’s initial description of one with INFJ personality.

“INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes to which so many of them seem to be drawn.”

I want to point out that is exactly how I feel. I always feel like a greater purpose pulls me in a direction. I have been reading in the Book of Mormon lately and this subject came up this week. I have some goals, but I don’t really know why I’m doing them. I know they are good and I know they are things I want to and should do, but I just have this desire to know why. 

There was a talk last Conference in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that talked about the "WHY". It’s great. You should read it. Any ways, it points out that we should seek to know the why which builds principles that lead to applications in our lives. Elder David A. Bednar also talks about this in his book “Increase in Learning” (also a great source of literature worth reading). We normally tend to go straight to applications for answers. It shows! I have goals or actions that I know will open the door to happiness, but I don’t know the “WHY” nor do I know the specifics to them. So I have backtracked my thought process and feelings to see why. I haven’t got there. What I have learned though is that God wants me to seek knowledge that he has. When I get the answer to the "WHY", or the purpose for me, then I will get more specifics, but I don’t think I have got it yet because I may not be all the way willing to act if I were to get an answer. 

I was looking up stuff online about INFJs and I can’t remember where I saw it, but it said that INFJs normally have a hard time following. It’s like they have this inner feeling or responsibility to lead. That can be an inhibitor. Is it always true? No, but I have seen that in myself at times. I may tend to shut down if I’m not in control of a situation. I feel like this points out that I have a hard time trusting others. It’s not that I don’t want or need help, but I think it’s an inner pride that says “you have the right answer/idea”, “just do it”, or “you have a vision don’t let go and don’t let others destroy it”. At times those are the right answers. I have seen though the need to step outside of these thoughts. Specifically in a group project I have for one of my classes. Some things we have struggled with in our group are not willing to listen to others ideas and not having full commitment. I think in this particular situation because we all started to petition our ideas there was no bond between us. That led to a lack of trust and thus no one is really committed to the cause, but to a personal idea. I think that is an obstacle in teamwork that comes in a lot. If a team can’t gel, then nothing gets down, because no one trusts each other. Everyone one is still an individual. Until the bridge of relationship is made nothing will crossover from one to the other. 

Something I did in our group to try to facilitate a good working team I dropped my idea and let other people step up. I feel that in this group I have experience, but this is not the time or place to use all of it. It is an opportunity to let someone else get that experience and grow as a leader. It’s a good opportunity for me to grow as a follower and a supporter. I am a strong believer that people really learn as they act.  

Pay attention to what is said in the first 35 seconds.
"INFJs are twice blessed with clarity of vision, both internal and external."
-Joe Butt

Look for the principles of team work and vision
1)Why does the coach do this for his team?
2)What does it do to his coaching staff?
3)How do you plan to let your vision affect others?

3 for 3

What do you think of the bike? I went looking around Friday after work. I drove all the way up to Taylorsville thinking I had found a good deal online. Nope. But I was pointed in the right direction and I knew what I was looking for. I needed a 57-61cm frame. I didn’t need a SUPER decked out racing bike. I just needed a simple standard racing bike that could make good time across the United States. I found it. It was on KSL listed at a great price. It was all the way up in COVE, UTAH! That’s a few minutes from the Idaho border. I decided, “Why not!”  I pulled out the money, just in case I liked it I could buy it. I decided to leave Friday night, seeing how it is almost 3 hours away. I drove up to Logan Friday night. I slept overnight in my truck at the Logan temple. I woke up and went for a walk around the temple, read my scriptures, then went the last 20 minutes to Cove to see the bike at 8:30. I met Stephen. He was a great guy. He was trying to get rid of his bike because he might be moving down to Provo or Arizona and wanted to get rid of some stuff. I thought I would help him out seeing how it was a great deal and a great bike.
Like the outfits?

I went on a date Friday afternoon. It was a group date with my apartment and an apartment of girls from my ward. We split into two teams. We went on a picnic to eat dinner and then we went to “DI” to do a scavenger hunt. It wasn’t a huge thing, but I did it. I need to put a little more effort into the next one. If it makes anyone feel better I did ask someone on a date. It won’t be for another two weeks though, but its progress, right? 

Look I really did go!
Home teaching was great. We have this wonderful girl in our ward. She’s very quiet and lives out of the ward boundary but has permission to come to our ward. I’m so glad. She is so nice. I thought she was going to be shy with us but she was very open.  I found out she loves basketball and wants to be a basketball coach! I heard that and I was super excited! We got along great. It’s going to be a fun semester home teaching her. I hope we can help her more than she helped me today. 

This week I don’t have to put up a post but I wanted to report on my goals last week.  I can proudly say I got them all done!

Written September 29 and 30 (edited/Oct 5)

It was such a pretty drive. All the trees were red and orange.

That's just pretty! (Logan Sunrise)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Orchestras Melody

Tamara is on the bottom left :)

I got a great chance to hear from one of my great friends this week. Sister Gray. Sister Gray was my advisor in BYUSA my freshman year. She was great! She was a great example to me and I look up to her a lot. I value a lot of what she says.

She talked a lot about using our time wisely. I’ll be honest, I thought she was going to tell us technique and skills to acquire to be affective with our time, but she really taught us why we shouldn’t let time stress us out. I thought that was a lot wiser than a lot of little tricks to time management.

In her presentation she talked about juggling and an orchestra. She talked about how juggling really just makes you stressed. Instead of throwing around all our activities and things to do, like you would while juggling, Tamara advised that we should smoothly use our time like a conductor of an orchestra. I don’t know much about music, but I have watched Mack Wilberg, the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle choir, and whatever he does makes the choir sound amazing. He knows how to ignite and calm the choir. He knows all the arrangements and when they come in and out. He orchestrates a balanced melody, something that needs to be more in my life. I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but in my orchestra of time and priorities, if you remember last week my number one goal was to be a good husband and father, I haven’t been on a date in 3 weeks and counting. My social life is roto. That means broken in Spanish. It is almost silent. Mack could ignite that by pointing at me and then do the raise your voice hand motion. I’m actually out of the house tonight. Does that count? But……I may or may not be writing while we are not doing anything. Pretty much I’m being really bad at my first goal. I just have a lot of broken strings in my orchestra since coming home from my mission that I have decided to slow down, but I think this is a wakeup call.  I feel good about the time I’m giving to my work, to school, church, and to my roommates. My orchestra sounds good, but my cellist’s strings are broken and something is missing in the melody.

I may not have a perfect melody in my life, yet, but I’m going to get it going. Here are some goals that I have to help me use my time better this next week that will point me in a direction toward the goals I set last week and will give my orchestra melody.  

  1. I will go on a date next weekend
  2. Buy a bike (going out today to look!)
  3. Home Teaching done before the last week. 

I know that these goals aren’t really new but I am committing to have a great story about my date next week, a picture of me on my new bike, and update on home teaching (we have one person left. We just got her address Thursday night).  

Tamara gave us a fun list of truths and fallacies of time. I don’t remember them all, but I do remember how people always say, “I don’t have time.” False. You don’t own time. In reality you have the same amount as everyone else and it’s not like you can fully control it. In short we have all the time we really want. 

Sometimes in school and work there are deadlines that put a “limit” on time. Tamara taught us that we need to be able to go about our life in a “peaceful hurry”.  That would mean to be able to recognize the fallacy while being able to meet certain requirements. Since I’ve been home from my mission I feel like I have learned to be in a peaceful hurry. My first day home I didn’t have ANYTHING to do or ANYWHERE to be. I remember waking up and going for a run. While I was running I saw a beautiful sun rise. I stopped. Why? I realized I didn’t have anywhere to be but enjoying God’s creation. It was great!. I have tried to take that same attitude with me. Now that things have picked up with school and tasks when I start to feel stressed or burden I tell myself to stop. When I stop I seek to find the Lord somewhere. I loved how Tamara put it. She said that we need to push on the brake to slow our car down to let the Lord in front to show us the way.  

Monday, September 17, 2012

I want to start by reporting on my last goal. I observed others and myself being servant leaders. The three things that I saw take place by other people was:
  1. My roommate made brownies for this girl in our ward
  2. I went on a run with another roommate and he told me how he loves to make people smile. People will be alone walking on the way to campus or on campus and he just says something to them to boost them up. The whole time we ran he tried to make someone smile. 
  3. I went to institute and there I watched my teacher go up to this handy cap girl and talk with her and also helped her to participate in the class
The three things I did this week:
  1. I made dinner for my roommate
  2. Another one of my roommate’s computer was not working so he could Skype his girlfriend who lives about an hour from here. I prayed that night that the next day he would be able to Skype her. My prayer was answered. He was much happier.  
  3. I went to take my foster sister’s kids out to play. She is pregnant and kind of sick. So I went to help take off the pressure. (PS That was my sister’s idea. She’s great)
Goals from my mission and  recently being home
We had a great class this week with Brother Bond as our speaker. He spoke on leadership and I was really surprised by one thing. He talked about the importance of vision, enduring to reach our goals, and seeking happiness. (3)  Vision is so important. In Proverbs 29:18 it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”  A vision is not what you will accomplish, but the result; where you see yourself. A final product you may say. You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. That doesn’t mean you have to know everything in between and how everything will end up. That’s what goals are for. Goals are your markers that indicate how close you are to your vision. Sometimes as you are going form goal to goal you realize one of them isn’t really on the path toward your vision or it’s not doable. Change it. Make it worth your while to be acting toward the vision. It is more important to keep the law and be happy then to simply be about doing. 

Brother Bond also talked about John Plaso. John was a man that really helped and inspired Brother Bond to accomplish his goals. He was someone that brought out his best work. (2) I hope to help others around me by listening. I feel the way to gain someone’s trust is showing your interest. If it matters to them, it should matter to me. If you really listen, you will know them. If you know them, you know how you can serve them. If you serve them, then they will not only do what is required, like Br Bond, but they will begin to act for themselves. That is the greatest thing that can be passed from one person to another; recognizing the power that one has within. 

One thing that really intrigued me in his lecture was when he pointed out the fact that we fail. We will fail a few times in our quest to reach our goals, but it should never be the reason we quit or stop working to reach our goals. I’ve looked back at a few experiences where I didn’t start what I wanted to do or just didn’t finish. I realized it was because I had a failure and stopped or I was scared of failing.  That really brought a greater understanding of leadership to me because I know that I can’t be a perfect leader, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be a darn good one with a few learning experiences along the way.

I have recently returned from a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Coming back is quite a change. It goes from full focus on others to starting from square one in your personal life. Sometimes square one is just finding out if you need to head north, east, south or west. That’s where I’m at. I would like to share with you something that has helped point me in the right direction in my life ever since I learned it. I used it before and during my mission to help me to make the most of my time and circumstances. It’s a basic outline that helps me to organize my thoughts and help me to get things accomplished. 

Vision: I will rely on God to illuminate my road and make things clear. I will be ever watching and acting in making decisions that will determine my destiny.

Mission: Every person ever born in history now in the future is influenced by the light of Christ for goodness. As we yield to that influence to do good and become good then the light of Christ increases in us. –Elder David A. Bednar

  1. Be a good husband and good father
    1. I am not married, but I know it is the next most single important decision in my life
    2.  Read Book of Mormon with a focus on being prepared for marriage (Daily)
    3. Go on a date once a (Weekly)
  2. Fulfill my calling
    1. 100% home teacher (monthly)
    2. Be prepared for the sacrament/come with a question (weekly)
    3. Come to church prepared to teach class/read less and have an outline (once a month)
  3. Choose a major by December 14
    1. Questions to ask
      1. What do I like from my classes?
      2. What do I not like from classes?
      3. What will point me in the direction of providing for a family?
      4. What will provide me with time to serve in the church?
      5. What do I enjoy?
  4. Go on a cross country bike ride starting next summer
    1. Buy a bike (By Sept 30)
    2. Create a vision for the trip (By Sept 30)
    3. Create team (By January 31)
    4. Find sponsors (By January 31)
    5. Bike daily
I know this is where I am heading

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Interviewing a Leader

Just a little background. I met Mike a little over a year ago as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was introduced to the gospel and us by his girlfriend, soon to be fiancĂ©. They were both in the Disney College Program. The whole time that they were in the program I had the chance to teach them. It was over a 6 month period of time. Mike had is ups and downs in searching for the truth, but I can remember the night he had decided to really change. It was at the beginning of December. We were in chapel right before church. We invited him to be baptized on January 1, 2012. He accept the invitation, but he gave us the disclaimer if he was ready. When he said yes I saw something in him I hadn't seen before, commitment. From that day he read and prayed and got his answer from God. Mike is a very inspiring person to me and hopefully you will be able to see his growth since that day as a member of the church and as a leader to others, including me. 
Mike is a very inspiring and loving person. In the interview he proved why he is a leader to me and to others.  One thing stood out to me right from the beginning; the word happiness. That was something that he brought up in the first few minutes of speaking. Mike defined true happiness as being in the right place. At first I thought of it in the physical sense, which it can be, but he meant more of heading in the right direction. He said, “...even when times are hard you have Heavenly Father on your side.” If you are heading in the right direction it doesn’t always mean it will be easy, but that peace allows one to be happy. Mike through his words showed understanding that happiness isn’t a onetime thing or even instantaneous, but that it is something that comes as in knowing we are doing what is right. Later in the interview Mike said on service, “If somebody had someone that loved them, they would be happier” I believe his ability to seek happiness allows him to be a great servant leader. He understands the simple truth that it isn’t about personal gain. Mike loves his former calling as ward missionary and current calling as first counselor in the elders quorum, because it gives him the opportunity to share with others what has made him happy. His love for others and the gospel builds a trust. They want to be around him and want what he has. That sounds like a good leader to me.
These are the things that I observed and heard from Mike. What I learned, at this time of my life, is the need to reach out. Recently coming home from a mission I just wanted to do everything! After a month or two of that, it has become very burdensome. With the many things and little time it becomes easy to become stressed and start to focus on myself. That doesn’t bring the happiness that Mike described. He described we should just love someone to make them happy. Happiness isn’t in trying to do it all. Looking a little more into what I learned from Mike he stated that his happiness comes from knowing that he is going in the right direction. Coming home has been hard trying to fit in or know what I’m supposed to do. I don’t want to fit in with the “in crowd” or just got back to who I was. I am a new person.  I know the gospel brings happiness and I’m trying to apply that in my personal living. It’s time to live what I preached for two years. It makes me wonder if I have the faith like some of the people I taught, Mike for example. I know that it will work out. I know that a lot of my confusion and lack of direction will start to become clearer as I reach out to help someone else. I started by trying to do this last week by committing to meet five people. I met Jeremy, Chloe, Liz, Russell, and Kimberly . That was in my first day. This week to reach out more I will take our TA Rebekah’s challenge to write down when people show service leadership and when I do something to be a service leader. I will commit to have 3 of each by the next post. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Servant Leadership- Dean Cox


I sat down in class and heard a lot of people talking about quizzes and homework. I was a little confused as to what they were talking about. I was in room C354 in the Eyring Science Center. The class was small. I thought I was in the right place. I asked the girl to my right what class it was. She said, "Chem dkfjasi." I got lost after she said chem. I left. Obviously. I luckily discovered what room I was supposed to be in and and then I got to class just in time to hear the end of Dean Cox's bio. He stood up and gave a great lecture on Servant Leadership. From what I could observe in his teachings and examples (2) a servant leader is someone who is to lead a people, but does it by helping those he works with, doing it with them, and giving of his or herself  for those they lead. Dean Cox gave us some great stories of people who were student leaders. I thought the most interesting was the one he told about Wilbur Birthwaite. He was a coach of Dean Cox and really inspired him through his commitment to help the students and not just focus on winning. He built the students not a program where students would just come and win.

Look at my dad's face. How do you see servant leadership?
 (3) A great example of a servant leader in my life are my parents. They are in charge of the house. They are to provide for me until I can by myself. They make sure I don't get into to much trouble. Right? They never took the role as a babysitter or ruler of the house. Both my mother and father would treat me as I they wanted to be treated. That really surprised me now. Instead of yelling at me to do something. They would either just do it or most of the time calmly ask me to do whatever it was I was to do. I learned so much from that example. I can do things for myself. I can ask someone calmly and humbly and they will do it. Why? Because of the true interest or love they had for me. That is the most powerful part of servant leading as Dean Cox explained in his lecture. (1) I want to try to apply this principle of sincere interest in my life. I know that I have had a bad attitude in my classes this week as school has started. I have been rather reserved in my classes, to myself. Why? I don't really know but it's not really fun. I need to be a little more friendly to my classmates. Should I get do this for this class, no. I'm not going to either, but I have noticed the difference that comes just in a simple kind communication with someone rather than not saying anything at all. You feel better. My goal is to meet at least 5 people by the next class.  You will at least know there first names by next week.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. Right?