Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Summer of Dallas

Hey all, I just wanted to update everyone on some of the things I've been up to this summer. It's been a busy one, but it has also been really fun.

At the end of winter semester, I moved over to Halladay Apartments with my buddy Eric Hales. A guy named Paul was already living here. He's pretty cool. He gets things done. I'm trying to break him from his good habits and normalize him down here with the rest of us. It's going pretty well. He called me "bro" the other day.

I started a new position for my job at the MTC which has been pretty fun. I get to know a lot more missionaries on a much different level. I kind of feel like their Uncle who they get to have fun with and talked to when things are tough for them. I love working there. Each missionary comes in with some pretty neat experiences. When I got back from my trip to Australia with my family I started doing some other administrative things while this other guy is out of the country till August. I've made a few mistakes here and there but things are becoming more clear with what I'm doing. What I loved was that a few weeks ago was the New Mission President Seminar at the MTC. It was super fun seeing some of the new mission presidents walk around the MTC with their wives. I can only imagine the intense pressure of the calling that they feel. It's a huge responsibility! Most often they have like 150 missionaries they have to watch over! It's nuts! I heard a rumor (which I choose to believe, ha) that most mission presidents average like between 5-6 hours of sleep each night. That's crazy. Anyways, with those other administrative duties I was taking on, I was able to listen in on a few different talks that were being broadcasted from the main building to where I was at. These talks were given by the apostles and many other general authorities that are just incredible to hear from. The setting in which they teach is much more intimate than I think we realize. Most of their instruction is unscripted and they'll be quite frank with these mission presidents. I was blessed to have been able to hear at least some things.

Right now I'm not taking any classes. My number one focus is improving my score on the LSAT. I've got a countdown calendar that's leading me up to October 6th when I take it! Yes, if you caught it, that is during General Conference. It will only be during the morning session, but I'm still sad that I'll miss it live. I love the live setting because I think I receive lots of revelation during that time. I'm grateful I've never had to see it on a delayed schedule before because I know there are lots of members and missionaries who because of time differences and translation have to. But yeah, the LSAT is starting to get fun. With each new concept that I study, I learn something new that sticks in my mind and helps me to do better. Each new "Game" is starting to become an adventure at solving. We'll see how things go, but I certainly hope for the best!

Colby moved in with me for summer term. That kid is hilarious. He's on this kick at being "that guy" in everything. We go country dancing and he wants to be "that guy" that dresses up in flannel and tight jeans and boots. More power to him. It's been fun having him around. He just got a job at the MTC which I'm pretty happy about. I overheard lots of good things being said about him when he applied, so I'm happy things worked out. It'll be fun having Jamie out here with us in the fall making it six Beck's total here in Provo. I love being close to Kasey, Emily, and Jimmer and so adding more just makes playing Mario Kart battle mode that much better. I'm definitely glad that back in November I decided I would be out here for another year so I could have this with my family.

At the end of May and early June I got to go to Australia and New Zealand with my family. It was being there and listening to the thick accents. There were many times I had no idea what was being said. With our hope of seeing kangaroos and koala bears, it made me wonder what animals people have on their bucket list to see when coming to America. Bald eagles? Bears? Good luck with those two. On my flights back to the US, I got to spend 17 hours in Shanghai, China. That's a great story which I'll be sure to post about next time.

Other things to look forward to:
- Beck Family reunion in a couple of weeks! There I will claim my dominance as being the favorite uncle. The real battle will be with Alicia and McKay. The others are pretty secured. The other two, by golly, won't know what hit 'em when I come. By all accounts, Colby is the competition and must be defeated. Alicia and McKay must see Colby for what he really is...ha.
-I'm training for a triathlon in September.
-I think I'm running my first 5k this coming weekend.
-BYU football is just around the corner!
-Jabari Parker...(let's cross our fingers and hope he decides to come to BYU)
-Also in October I should find out about Teach for America to see if I get accepted. If I do, that will make things really interesting in deciding when for law school.
-The elections!
-I'm going to rock the jetski when I go home in August.
-My last year at BYU--crazy.
-I'm taking a golf class in the fall, ha. Oh boy, it's gonna be an interesting class, ha.

 Anyways, I've been thinking about some things I've wanted to post about, so here's a list of things to come in the next little bit (I promise they won't be spaced two months apart for each one):

-The elections and the economy
-Missionary experiences with people on the plane to and from Shanghai (that poor girl from Mexico that had to sit next to me for 12 hours to LA, haha)
-Gay marriage and my thoughts on the issue
-3 years back from my mission! My mom likes to pick my brain, so for her benefit I'll probably post some mission memories.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

General Conference

I absolutely love it. Every conference has something for me to look forward to. It really became important to me my freshman year at BYU when during my first semester I took a Teachings of the Living Prophets class. In the class I was first introduced to the idea of prayerfully coming up with questions that dealt with either my own understanding of how spiritual things work or decisions I needed help making. Doing that has ever since established a neat pattern for me to receive direct and inspired revelation from every conference. You'd think that since then the excitement of doing it each time would have worn off. That hasn't been the case.

This conference was especially neat to hear those answers come through church leaders that have spent months preparing for their messages. It was extremely humbling to experience as it pointed me to tender mercies in regards to the questions I've had lately and did wonderfully to clear my mind and reassert what my priorities should be.

Part of the battle is making sure I'm asking the right questions, and that for me comes praying about it and receiving direction from God to know what things I should be thinking about. Sometimes they make me think, "Gee, I didn't realize that was something that I was lacking in" or "Huh...I wonder why God wants me to be concerned about this..." or something like that.

All in all, the Church is true. If you don't believe it, try what I did. Coming to know the Church is true isn't simply just praying and asking that question and then receiving that answer. Rather, it's having numerous spiritual experiences that pertain to your life that SHOW you that God is real and that he is guiding your life through his church.

One of the reasons why I'm an econ major. Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I'm not sure what's gotten into me...

I can't believe it, but I want to post something. Crazy how life does that to ya.

Here's a quick update on my life since what, April 2010? Wow, haha. Ok, here it goes!

-Worked at Papa Murphy's at home summer 2010.
-Took an econ class to get into the business school at BYU.
-Fell in love with econ.
-Got into the business school but still in love with econ.
-By winter 2011 decided to do econ and go to law school.
-Dated someone from summer 2010 to winter 2011.
-Got hired at the MTC winter 2011 teaching ESL to those from outside the US who come to the US to serve a mission.
-Worked all summer 2011 only to play all of August 2011 on the jetski (Thanks Dad).
-Got my trash kicked by some econ classes Fall 2011, but I loved it.
-And now? Kickin my econ class' trash, working at the MTC and doing research for a professor, and studying for the LSAT. Doing a Private Equity business competition right now which is pretty sweet, not gonna lie.

Life is good.

That's all the "What have you been doing with your life?" answers. Here's the best thing coming up: COLBY COMES HOME FROM HIS MISSION!!! I wish everyone could know Colby. He's such a stud. I think that kid is Beck Nirvana. He's coming home soon and I'm stoked. It'll be a lot of fun to have him out here in Utah with me, KaseyEmilyJimmer, and Jamie. Awhile ago, I had to make a decision on what year I was going to graduate, and one of the main reasons I decided to wait till 2013 was so that I could have one more year here with Jamie and Colby. I wish even more that Kayla could be up here too, but she'll have a ton of fun up here because she's a stud as well.

Anyways, I may need to catch things up later and just develop a habit of shorter posts.

Life is great. The Church is true. And I need to sleep.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

And you didn't think I'd ever Blog again. Well...

Hey so yeah, I had everyone on your toes to see if I was really going to Blog again. That's ok because I was debating it within myself. Since February, it doesn't seem like too much has happened. My ski class ended (that was way awesome idea for me to take the class), I actually got a 98% on a paper I wrote in History (that was cool), General Conference was last week (SOOO GOOD!), and now here I am at the last week of school before finals, and it's rather exciting.

I found out a few weeks ago that some people I taught on my mission were getting baptized. I was super excited to see that because they had been working for a very long time to get to that point. I remember having some very powerful, spiritual, and pivotal lessons with them, and I just kept thinking "What the heck?! Why won't they just go in the water?" They absolutely knew everything about the Church and were very proactive in coming every Sunday. Sometimes they would offer prayers in meetings. This all happened in my last area of Ohio in Lisbon. It's a very exciting thing for the ward which has been struggling for some time now to get converts. The Lord has his own timetable. He understands our needs and our positions, and sometimes it just takes a little bit of heart-softening to get people to where they should be. In that same area where we were working, there's a recent convert family that's preparing for the temple. In fact they should be going either this week or have gone already. I'll be giving them a call to ask about their experience.

I've been thinking a lot about agency lately and the role it plays in making decisions with being directed by Heavenly Father. A great talk to read about this subject is called "Agency or Inspiration" by Bruce R. McKonkie. I think what the Lord expects from us is an attitude of making decisions on our own but always presenting that decision before the Lord. As Elder Bednar would emphasize, he wants us to act and not be acted upon, to be agents within ourselves, knowing that the power (the powers of reasoning within ourselves to make a wise decision) is within us. I think what most of us are afraid of is making the wrong decision and getting a feeling of correction or rebuke from the spirit. However! We fail to realize that a stupor of thought is as great a blessing as a burning in the bosom. Each one is answer to a prayer. And if we're no willing to take it that far and be willing to receive a stupor of thought, then we are letting our pride get the best of us. What we're really saying is "my plan is the better one". These opposite feelings in response to prayer can only come after a decision is made. Humility to feel rebuked is a part of the plan and essential to our progression. Should we ever feel like we "know what we're doing", then we're missing the point and fooling ourselves. The point of choosing is a part of our training in becoming like our Heavenly Father. No fence-sitters will be admitted to the Celestial Kingdom.

Welp, I hope to make this a habit--sharing insights or thoughts that I've had. It helps me to put them in word format. They're not directed towards anyone or meant to demean anyone's ability or self-worth, but rather, to offer a perspective. Have a good day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Let's make lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! This has been a pretty fun week. Travis and I were walking home from class one day and through the massive parking lot to which at the end is our apartment and we got to thinking about which way to walk through the parking lot is faster. The entrance to walk through if you are walking from campus is at the top right hand corner, and the exit is at the bottom left hand. If one walks in a straight and diagonal line, they'll obviously get there faster. Well, this parking lot is often packed with cars. There are three rows of cars that span the length of the lot and are in the way of walking in a straight line. And so that was our question, which row is it best to walk down? So we decided that we would establish an equal walking pace and then start down separate rows to see which one would allow us to get to the exit quickest. I walked down the one farthest to the right, and Travis did up the middle. We concluded that the middle row is the best one to walk down. So there ya have it.

Today I taught Elder's Quorum. I had been preparing the lesson for two weeks and spent a few hours on it yesterday. I really like teaching. I miss doing it from my mission a lot. I really like my calling too. It has helped me transition from missionary to student. Now that my lesson is done with, it feels kind of weird--perhaps a little empty. But it's ok. I really enjoyed teaching the lesson. There was great participation coming from the quorum and some people were right on with their comments and insights. I taught about the laws of Justice and Mercy and the affect the Atonement can have on our lives. We talked about agency and how we have to have opposites placed before us in order to help us choose effectively. One of the points that I enjoyed discussing the most is considering the fact that all of us have sins and are all stained. Even if an individual had just one stain, they would be unfit to enter God's kingdom. What then, does that discount us from entering in? What other option exists? The atonement becomes real to us not based on how far up we are on the scale of righteousness, but rather the direction we're facing. If we are at the bottom of the staircase but still facing upwards, we will still make it if we continue onward in that direction. Heavenly Father looks after all of us and knows our circumstances and the challenges that we have. He requires our hearts. He requires our humility. There is no other attribute that produces strength more than humility does. A humble person realizes their dependence on the Savior and his atonement and can thereby move forward and face anything.

Welp, I think I've talked long enough so I bid a very fond farewell. Que tenga un buen dia y adios.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I can't believe I just created a blog

I don't know what the heck I was thinking, but all of a sudden I got the urge to create a blog. I can't quite explain it. All I know is that a few days ago, I was talking to a good friend, Emily Chambers about journal-writing and I decided tonight that I wanted to share some thoughts that I get every now and then. Bueeeno! So here I am.

Many people know that I've established this semester to be The Semester of Dallas. Since the beginning of October, I have been planning out what my new schedule would be like for this semester. Everything worked out great. The only change I made had to do with Accounting 210. I was going to take it but then decided against it. Instead I'm taking a history class which covers a GE requirement. Exciting. Seriously. I love history now for some reason. Three years ago, before my mission, I hated it. I hated reading. Ironically, I also told myself I would never ever make a blog. How stupid I thought it was. Look at me now. Put a 180 degree change on each of those things and that's a little somethin' somethin' about me. There's a song from the Brady Bunch sung by the kids in an episode when they were recording something during the time Peter's voice was changing, and in a real funny voice he would sing "It's time to chaaange and to rearrange." Crazy. That's kinda what a mission has done to me. I feel like I've been rearranged. Me gusta. Me gusta mucho.

I'll lay it out upfront; my reasoning for creating a blog is primarily to put down my thoughts. What a person constantly thinks about is what they become, so the plan is to make it good. Based on that logic, hopefully I don't become like Peter and have my voice change...again. So hopefully I don't completely forget about this die off. I think it would be fun to put down my thoughts. Get in my brain!!