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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gotta Get Some Things Done Before Leaving for Two Years!

Before going on a mission, every prospective missionary has to do a few things for the "last time" before leaving home for two years. I remember a river trip and some motorcycle rides prior to my mission. One of the things on Jeff's "Bucket List" was to go mountain biking in St George before the weather cooled and the trails got muddy. He and I headed out to St George on November 6 leaving as soon as Jeff could get away from work at BYU. We got a room at a Super 8 in Hurricane, UT because there were baseball tournaments going on in St George and most of the rooms were booked. Not only that, it was a lot cheaper in Hurricane. We had dinner at Bajio's and watched the movie A Christmas Carol. I am probably without culture, but I have never enjoyed the book and the movie didn't do much for me either although the animation was amazing.

On Saturday we got around pretty early, ate the free breakfast at the motel and headed out to Gooseberry Mesa. Gooseberry is similar to the famous Slickrock bike trail in Moab only a little less work for about the same amount of fun. I think that I like the look of the red slick rock of Moab better but otherwise Gooseberry is every bit as fun and unique in its own ways. This was Jeff's first time to Gooseberry and so we took the beginner loop first. That was really more for me than Jeff because he can handle a LOT more than I can. Then we headed up the road and started on the Hidden Canyon Maze that ultimately ran into the South Rim Trail. This was mostly humbling to me as I watched bikers much older than me ride they things that I was walking. However, I had a great time. This was only about the 3rd time or so I have really been able to try out my new Teocali Elite bike and it was great on the slickrock.

The South Rim trail has some really nice views where much of the trails follows along the edge of a cliff. Breathtaking but fun! At the end of the South Rim we followed the four wheel drive road back to the Suburban and grabbed some lunch. Then we packed up and drove back to St. George for the Bear Claw Poppy trail.

Jeff had never ridden Bear Claw either so I took him to the top and dropped him and and then drove to the bottom. While Jeff came down and play on the Fingers of Death and Acid Drops, I started chugging up the trail. Fortunately, it isn't very steep near the bottom but I had already pretty well burnt my legs on Gooseberry. We met about in the middle of the trail and then Jeff turned around with me and we both rode back to the top so that we could take a few pictures. We got a few nice pictures of Jeff coming off the Drops and I found a nice bicycle light buried in the dirt that someone had rattled sometime back.

It was a great time and a fun chance for the two of us to do something together before Jeff leaves for two years. I think Jeff had a great time too but probably fell a little behind in his homework. It always worth it though for some great mountain biking.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Jeff goes to the Provo temple

In preparation for his mission, Jeff went to the Provo LDS Temple on November 21, 2009. Temples are considered the House of the Lord and are sacred buildings. In temples, faithful member of the LDS church make sacred covenants to keep Heavenly Father's commandments.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jeff Opens His Mission Call

Jeff received his mission call on 21 October 2009. Salem, UT is a small mostly LDS community. When mission calls come into the post office, the postmaster calls the family early in the morning to let them know it has arrived. On the 21st we received a call from the post office at about 7:00 a.m. The family can then go and knock on the door of the still closed post office and pick up the call early. Tammy took Sean and they headed right over to the post office pick up the call letter.

We called Jeff and agreed to meet him at his dorm at BYU at about 11:00 a.m. with the call so that he could open it. Tammy picked me up at work and Sharee met us at the dorm. Jeff's friend, Rhett Nance also came for the "opening".

Jeff looked a little nervous but was excited to open it up but got right to it. After opening the envelope he read silently while the rest of us waited in anticipation. Finally, every in near unison said, "well?!" "I've been called to the North Carolina Raleigh mission," he finally said. Right away I remember that I knew someone else that was currently serving there but coudn't think who for a moment. Jeff reminded me that Jason Carrick, a young man Jeff had known through scouting and had looked up to was due to return to return sometime in November from the same mission. Someone asked what the letter said and that's when Jeff noticed that it was a Spanish speaking mission.

Jeff had pre-composed a text to all of his friends and so he filled in the mission and used up the remainder of his texts (and then some) for the month sending to a full address list. Sharee went online to Wikipedia and started filling us full of facts about North Carolina.

I had no idea to which mission Jeff would be call and had never thought of North Carolina. My initial response was surpirse followed quickly with a calm feeling that this was definitely where the Lord wanted him to serve. Jeff had a missionary prep class and so we had to cut our time together short as he rushed out to tell his mission prep teacher and the students in his class about his call. Tammy, Sharee, and I walked next door to the Creamery on Ninth for a good BYU hamburger and curly fries with black pepper!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What this is about

This purpose of this blog will be to give updates on Jeff's mission to family and friends.

Between now and when he leaves on 20 January 2010 for the North Carolina Raleigh mission I'll post updates on his preparation activities. After he enters the mission field I'll post updates on what he is doing, post snippets from his letters/e-mails home and maybe an occasional picture.