Ready? Breathe.

Joy to the world, finals are over!

Today marks the first official day of Christmas vacation. And a vacation it is. Though I have done approximately zero Christmas shopping, I feel like Christmas day is still an eternity away and there's nothing to worry about. Plus I kind of like buying stuff for friends and family.

I just need to share with everybody my greatest accomplishment:

I got an A in anatomy!

That class was so fun, breathtaking, spiritual.
Worth it.


Thank you Dave for studying with me for hours on end even though you were already pretty much guaranteed an A in the class (whereas I got it just by the skin of my teeth). I know you did it for me. You're a friend in the truest sense.

Merry Christmas everybody!!


I'll Be Home For Christmas

Honestly. Who doesn't love the holidays?

This year, I am looking forward to:

Making candy with my mom

Playing Mario Kart Wii with my brother and sisters

Going scouching

Buying (and wrapping!!) Christmas presents

Making Christmas crafts (i.e. the Gingerbread House)

Going caroling to the oldest people in the world (we do it every year)

Christmas Eve
(this is another story, but in some ways, it's better than Christmas itself)

Exploring Temple Square:

Hot tubbing at the Luczak's Cabin

But I am most excited
to see my family.
To spend time with them,
to not think about school,
and to remember the reason for the season.

Thanks be to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
for penning my favorite Christmas hymn
and thanks be to Jesus Christ
for giving him a reason:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

I can't wait to be back with my family for Christmastime. Just 2 more tests and a 10 page paper! Good luck on your finals, everybody, and Merry Christmas!


Changing Lives: VIDA Thanksgiving 2009 Sonora Project

Words will not explain it,
Pictures cannot capture it.
It is invisible,
Yet more real than anything you can see.
You cannot touch it, but it will touch you -
and touch you deep.
You cannot smell it
or taste it either...

but it will change your life forever.

This is love. This is what makes the world a better place. This is what I felt with the VIDA Crew down in Mexico. I encourage you to check out the website and become involved.

On November 20th, 2009, 16 volunteers, myself included, hopped into a car and began the 36 hour drive to Obregon Mexico, where we built a house for a family in desperate need. We also delivered over 600 lbs of donations and 4,400 dollars to the charities Fundacion de Apoyo Infantil (FAI) and to Casa Hogar Manos Unidas, an orphanage and safe house for underprivileged and victimized children. Thank you to everybody who made this possible.

Adrian and his wife will have a warm place to sleep this winter. They will have lights, and a bathroom. Eric and his wife are now much closer to finishing the extension of the orphanage, so that the teenage girls don't have to share the single girls bedroom with 25 other girls, some as young as 2 years.

I cannot tell you what a gratifying experience it has been to get to know these people, and to give a little bit - less than what they need, but as much as we could muster - to the impoverished people of Obregon. Sometimes, I think the best give we give them is the one they are best at giving back - our love. I arrived in Salt Lake City again on November 30th, a different man than the Spencer who left.

Ramon. I have probably a zillion other pictures like this one.
What the house looks like when it's done. I didn't build this one though.
Showin' our stuff.
Mixing cement for the base of the roof.