i am back from mexico and i have pictures.

but you don't get them yet.
for a few days, i must sell my soul back to BYU.
here are two pictures to tide you over-
Mexico changed my life. I will tell you how.


Day 10 - Attitude of Gratitude

I am leaving to Mexico before you know it.

This post is actually for tomorrow but I am going to bed now and will not have time at all to write tomorrow. I still have to study for/take my Molecular Biology Midterm Exam, pack for Mexico, and somehow squeeze in a quick visit to Michelle, who I will not see again for at least 18 months. Plus I sure would like to see my girl.

Today, I am grateful for VIDA (Volunteers Involved in Development Abroad). This is the organization that is making my trip to Mexico possible. I'm so grateful that they let me be a part of their team even though I don't speak any Spanish and I'm kind of a skinny fella. Hopefully I have the stamina to build a house brick by brick with them. Today, I picked up 50 dental hygiene kits that I'll be delivering to an orphanage there. I'm so excited to meet all the little ninos and play some soccer with them!

I will be foregoing thanksgiving with my family, but I feel this is appropriate, as I have been given so much, and this is a great opportunity to give back.

So until I blog again, Happy Thanksgiving!


Dearest avid and worthy readers (all 5 or so of you, haha), I need your input. By the time I get back from Mexico in 10 days, it will be time for my daily AoG postings again. Do you want to hear more? Or am I driving you crazy with these daily updates in your blogroll?

Let your voice be heard!

Day 9 - Attitude of Gratitude

I cannot believe this. I am glad that that some people are speaking out and talking intelligently about what is and is not appropriate when it comes to what we do in public. This is a link to an article in the NY Times about people who are viewing pornography on their iPod or Blackberry while commuting. As indecent as this practice is even privately, I am absolutely appalled that anyone would think to view porn in public, forcing it on bystanders like foul language and second hand smoke.

I am grateful today for the responses to this article (scroll down to the bottom of the article... they are all worth a read). They have reminded me that human decency survives, that the conscience of the common man is not dead.

For those of you lazy enough not to click on the link, but not lazy enough to forego reading the rest of this post, this is my favorite part of the article:

Perhaps this is the real problem: the increasingly blurred boundary between public and private. If we are so accustomed to burying our noses in tiny screens, carrying our entertainment in and out of the house, perhaps people are simply getting confused as to where they are.
Could simple public service announcements clear this up?
ATTENTION: As similar as this basketball arena may appear to your apartment, they are not, in fact, the same place. For further evidence, please ask yourself the following question: Does my apartment typically contain 20,000 complete strangers? If the answer is “No,” then you are in a public arena. You should not be watching porn.

* * * * *

This article from the Washington Post is worth a read as well. I've decided: for my English 312 class, I am writing my 10 page researched argument about the feasibility of passing a law - like unto indecent exposure - against viewing pornography in public. Of course, we should do away with it all together, but I can't argue that kind of censorship. Baby steps.


Day 8 - Attitude of Gratitude

Last night, I participated in a psychological study organized by my friend jbod. I love that girl to death. When I went there, I noticed that lots of my friends were there to help her out as well! I was just so happy to see them, that today I am grateful for a few good friends. It is much better to have a few good friends than it is to have many acquaintances.

I love the feeling I get when I walk into Aly's town home and she says "Spencerrrrrrr!!" then gives me a hug and asks about my love life, or when I get together with my boys and we get to joking back and forth like we we do. I've shared a lot of great experiences with these people, and I wouldn't give them up for the world.

From left to right: A-Ham, Crave, Marcus, Andrew (foreground), and Lucky, at the lighting of the Y during Homecoming Week at BYU.


Day 7 - Attitude of Gratitude

I have resolved not to study on Sundays. It is a hard thing to do, especially in a competitive pre-professional program. But I'm doing it, even when the Lord tries my faith. For yesterday's AoG, I'm grateful for the Lord's tender mercies. I went to bed on Sunday night knowing that I had a molecular biology assay due on Monday. Naturally, I've had all week to complete it, but hadn't touched it. Well, I wouldn't expect this from the Lord every time, but a crazy miracle happened on Monday and my teacher was too sick to come to class and collect the completes assays. And today, (tuesday) I received an email that he will never be collecting them. Yessss....


Day 6 - Attitude of Gratitude

In my current ward, my calling is to be the ward choir director. I love it. I love it so much. Today I am grateful for ward callings.

Seriously, I had so much fun today as we began to work on the Christmas Program. It's nice to take some time to really enjoy some spiritual, beautiful, wonderful music centered on the joys of the birth of our Savior. I've been in choirs before (see below), so I know a thing or two about music, but I've never directed before. At first it was kind of scary, but seriously, my choir is so awesome. We just work through each song one at a time and by the time we're done they're singing phenomenal pieces like virtuosos. And we have so much fun while we do it.

I can't remember what this was for, but I sang with my buddy Dave in the Salt Lake Tabernacle last year. Way fun.


Day 5 - Attitude of Gratitude

It is dumping snow outside. I love snow! Cleanliness is next to Godliness, and whenever it snows, everything looks so clean and pure. Plus, it means that Christmas is coming, ski resorts are opening, I get to see a lot of my extended family, and everybody is getting in the holiday spirit!

Skiing in powder ranks in my top 5 favorite things to do.

Day 4 - Attitude of Gratitude

I missed yesterday, so I'm doing two today. Don't tell anybody.

Yesterday I went to Hale Theatre and saw "Curtains." It masterfully blended romance, murder mystery, and comedy into one very enjoyable play. I want to go back and see it again! My favorite character was their simple, honest, slightly awkward, theater-loving detective who spends his time solving mysteries, wooing one of his suspects, and even directing the play a little bit. I loved that he had the courage to try his hand as a thespian. And so, yesterday, I was grateful for freedom, freedom to pursue your dreams and be the master of your life.


Day 3 - Attitude of Gratitude

Today I am grateful for amazing roommates. I live with 3 other guys, 2 of which I've known since I was 6 years old, and I'm pretty sure I met the other guy in heaven before we were born. We've never had a disagreement, nobody cares if you steal a little bit of their milk (cause they probably took some of yours last week), and we take care of each other.

Just after Christmas last year with Gordy (childhood friend Marc creepin' behind him). Gordy will do anything for you. He's one of the truest friends you could ever have.

Alex - we share a room and it's sa-weeeet! Alex is from back east, and I only met him a coupla years ago, but he feels like family. And he's pretty much the friendliest guy in the world.

Can you believe that out of the four of us, it's this guy (Andrew) that's closest to marriage? Every day I thank my lucky stars he decided to live with us. He is my spiritual rock.


Day 2 - Attitude of Gratitude

Today, I am grateful for good health.

I am not the strongest boy in the world, but I am healthy, and I've got pretty great endurance. I love the way that getting a little physical activity makes me feel, and how it can change my day for the better. Another bonus, so far I have avoided contracting the swine flu. Thank goodness! Now, I am going for a morning run.


Going Public - an Attitude of Gratitude

This last Sunday, I spoke in church about developing an attitude of gratitude, trying to see God's hand in your life. One thing that I have been doing has been to write about something I am grateful for in my journal every day. It's good to acknowledge God's hand in all things. For the rest of the month of November, I'm posting every day about something God has done for me. (The exception being on Nov 20-29, during which time I will be in Mexico with Volunteers Involved in Development Abroad aka VIDA)

Today, I stopped for a little bit on my way to school just to appreciate the beauty of mother nature. The sun had just risen over the mountains and cast dappled shadows across a freshly-cut, and yet leaf-blanketed lawn. It smelled so fresh, and looked so wonderful! Today, God gave me a beautiful morning and a perfect day.