Dutch Sabbath

Nothing too much to report this day.  We went to Antwerp for Stake Conference.  It was a live broadcast from Salt Lake City.  Yep, we came all the way to attend church in Belgium broadcast to us in English!  We did get to hear a blessing in Dutch, but that was about it.  For those non-English speakers, it was translated for them in the main chapel.

We enjoyed the rest of the day with the Cazier’s.  We enjoyed some sandwiches for lunch, some shrimp/pasta/zucchini dish for dinner.  Both were very good.  They have been good to us.  Letting us use their laundry, spare room, and dining room.  They drove us to Vianden, Luxembourg, and Antwerp.  I do not know how we will ever repay them.  We certainly appreciate their hospitality and friendship.

We are planning on heading out for Paris tomorrow.  Although that plan may very well change as we hear of a strike with the French railways.  We may reverse our trip and head to The Hague tomorrow instead.

Europe Trip – June 4-5

We have arrived in Belgium!  What a relief.  I cannot tell you.

We flew out from Boise airport.  We were fortunate to catch a non-stop flight, from LA!!  Boy, if there is anything near torture, try flying through the night in a very cramped space.  After 9.5 hours on the plane, we landed at London Heathrow.  We found our way through the Underground to Kings Cross Station.  Amanda went and found Platform 9 & 3/4 of Harry Potter fame and took a few pictures.  We waited, checked in for Eurorail at St. Pancras Station, and enjoyed a Cornish Pasty.  A first for Amanda, a beloved memory for me.

We climbed aboard the Eurorail which treated us to a trip through the Chunnel.  France proved to have beautiful scenery.  We got off at Lille, France and switched trains.  We rode to Kortrijk, Belgium.  James met us at the station and now we are in our digs at Oostrozebeke, Belgium.

Funny thing, we knew we needed to get to Kortrijk but we forgot to bring James & Catherine’s phone number and address.  Meaning, when we arrived, we were totally at their mercy.  We couldn’t catch a taxi to their home, and we could not call them.  It is sure a good thing James showed up with his little Toyota.

We find ourselves babysitting while J & C are off to branch council.  We put the kids to bed in 15 minutes, take a shower, and crash ourselves!  We are exhausted

Be sure to check our joint Blog.  Amanda will include some pictures there with some commentary.  I will also upload to a new European Album all our photos we deem of sufficient quality to share with the world.

A sketch in the life of William Jonas

(Written by Mabel Andersen Cazier.  This is about William Nelson Jonas 1889-1972  I have maintained spelling and punctuation)

I remember one time, long, long ago, during World War I.  My Uncle Will (Mother’s brother) was called to the services to help win the war against the Germans.

“I wouldn’t mind,” he said to my mother “if I didn’t have to fight and kill.  Oh, how I would hate to take a life, for I know how dear life is to me.”

“Fear not,” said his sis, “maybe the Lord will fix it so a life you can save instead.”

So on that unforgetable day, sun shining brightly outside, he bade all goodby and with tears in his eyes he marched away to serve his country and God.  Time passed, the mail didn’t move fast in those days but we finally received a letter from Uncle Will, the man we prayed for each day.  He stated his thankfulness that he had been assigned to the hospital department where he could spare lives instead of take.  He worked diligently from dawn until night, comforting the goys who were dying.  One time he was a mother to his dying comrad, comforting him as best he could, another he’d be a father pronouncing the blessings on his dying son, or prehaps a wife promising she would always be true and faithful the rest of her life.  Maybe he would be a daughter, maybe a son.  Administering medicine, pills and morphine; moistening the lips of some mother’s dying son.  For four long years this task he did perform.  Then one cold November day the armistice was signed and home came the boys, glad to get home.  Oh, to see Mother and Father and wife who had loved them so dearly and had pled for their life.  Finally he’d see sis, brothers John and Joe.  On the ship he became very ill, desperatly so, and the finger of death was laid down on his head.

“Dear Lord,” he did beg on his knees by his bed, “if my life you will spare I will do anything you say.  I don’t want to die, if you would only spare my life I’d be happy.  Dear Lord have mercy on me.”

The Lord did hear and his life he did spare.  The ship moved on and finally she docked on the shores of the great New England states.  Down the gang plant they hurried as fast as they could.

“God bless America,” they shouted, “may she live forever.”

Oh, to be home once again, happy and free.  No more war no more killing — happy day for them.

The mail!  Ah yes, maybe a letter from home.  Telegrams?  Yes, one for Will, which he opened with fingers that trembled.  “BROTHER JOHN DIED DEC 19. 1918.”

“Oh, dear God, what have I done, I begged for my life and you took my brother’s instead.  Brother John!  Dear John!  How I loved him!  He cheered and comforted me the day I left.  His wife Nellie and two sons so fair, and now little Armina left all alone.  How fitting and proper if I had gone on.  Now I know I never should have asked God to spare me.  I was needed and I was the one to have gone.”

Time went on and years passed, twenty or more.  To Uncle Will six sons were born by his good wife Mary.  Then one day came World War II.  Away marched four of his sons — two in the Navy, one in the Army and one in the Marines.  He knew that this must be.  He waited and as time went on he listened for the knock on the door which would bring him the telegram telling of the death of one of his sons.  One day it came, “I have bad news for you, Will.”

“Yes,” he said, “it’s Gayland.”

And the reply was, “yes.”

For days he walked about in a daze.  “Oh dear God, why?”  Then he remembered his promise to God on the ship more than twenty years before, “anything dear Lord if you will only spare my life.”  This he must bare.  Oh, how he did mourn, he grew pale and thin and his life was feared for.  But alas, one night as he lay awake in his bed, the room because bright and there by his bed stood his son Gayland.

“Father,” he said, “I grieve to see you morn so.  All is well, do not feel bad.  Soon I will come for you too and then we will be happy together.”

As he gazed upon his son a great peace settled over him and he knew that all was well.

Monday, Monday

I remember a time with my Mission President, President Stucki gave a talk on constant perfection.  He made a comment that if we ever felt like we were comfortable, like we had things figured out, like we could sit back and relax it was a great sign we needed to rise up and repent.  Life is a process of constant repentance through improvement and progression.  Somehow I have really taken the counsel to heart and don’t like to feel comfortable.  There is always more to do, someone else’s life to bless, some work needing to be done.
My weeks of late have been filled with a whole host of events.  Tuesday nights finds me at the Family History Library.  I have been spending about a week an evening out with the missionaries.  The Home Teaching list with 6 families requires diligent effort, coordinating with the schedule of my 14 year old companion, and hoping some of them might come around.  There are two widows in the ward whose family history I am inputting on the computer and preparing for temple work.  That requires constant updating and exchanging of information ever week at church.  Preparing and teaching the Family History Class on Sunday.  I go visiting with President Hahn usually about once a week for the Elder’s Quorum Presidency.  Last week I gave a talk in church on Family History.  Tomorrow and Saturday we are preparing chili for the ward and work chili cook-off.  Creating a couple gallons of white chili takes hours in itself.  Chopping up those four huge onions kept my eyes watering for several hours.  A black tie event tomorrow night, costume party Saturday night, Squash on Monday nights.  I don’t feel like I have much time lately.  But I feel very fulfilled with my life at the moment.  I hope someday my life will be remembered like that of President Kimball (whose biography I finished earlier this month) where his life was like an old shoe, worn out in the service of others.
Amanda and I attended a wedding last Saturday and because the weeks have been so busy we had to run to the temple afterwards and come back that same evening.  The week before Amanda spent the whole weekend in Grundy.  The week before was General Conference, which was fantastic I might add.
Work has continually picked up and I am feeling like I have a pretty good grasp on the work and what is required.  I think I may have actually gone a day or two where I did not have to ask a question of a co-worker.  Then today the bombshell came.  Bank of America is doing away with the entire Wholesale Channel.  December 31st will be the last day of Wholesale’s existence.  Meaning, I am without employment January 1st.  Sure, I get a month’s pay for severance.  But hey, I just got hired on!  I started as an official Bank of America employee on October first after four months as a contractor.  Now on January 1st, I am starting over.  Geez, I will have spent more time as a contractor at Bank of America than as an actual associate.  What does the employment world hold for me next?  Will I find another position in Bank of America?  Will I stay in the mortgage industry?  Where will I work for the remaining 6 months I am in Richmond, Virginia?  At any rate, I have the next three months to find a new job.  (Two months at Bank of America, one month’s severance).  My Monday at work was just about to close since I had gone through the rough tumble of learning the in and out of a new job.  Now I get to start all over!
We have decided to take a trip to Europe in June of next year.  We are thinking of spending 3 weeks in Britain and 3 weeks in Northwestern Europe.  We would probably spend 2 weeks in the old mission visiting and staying with people, another week touring parts of Britain, then three weeks with Belgium as our home base.  Our friends James and Catherine Cazier have invited us over and we will probably crash with them at their home in Belgium.  So much of northwestern Europe is within a few hours of there.  I hope to quell Amanda’s desire to live in Paris and we both hope to see much of the storied lands.  I think we will have to skip Germany this time around since there are so many places I would like to personally visit for family history purposes (not for research, just to visit).  Amanda’s goal is to earn the money to pay for the tickets to Europe and then I will pay for the rest.  However, we will have to see how the trip looks as we get closer.  Hopefully we won’t miss a beat in preparing to meet our bills while away on vacation for 6 weeks and pay for the trip itself and then the move to wherever we will move for Law School.  So much depends on my finding a good, new job.  Hopefully not at a lower salary than the one I was earning with Bank of America.
For those who asked if I am still thinking about attending law school in England, the answer is no.  I had an answer to prayer that made it plainly manifest I was not to attend law school in England.  Despite the heartbreak it brought, there was a certain relief at not having to try and figure out the ramifications of attempting to do so.  We also found out that Amanda would find it virtually impossible to work in the UK as a hygienist.  Basically the UK now says no to any hygienist unless they are a EU citizen.  To qualify she would basically have to take half of her schooling over again and the cost would be too prohibitive.  One would think that a country where citizens pull their own teeth for a lack of dentists would openly welcome hygienists and dentists to immigrate.  Classic socialistic medicine at work!
Well, time to shut down.  I have to get up in the morning for a company that doesn’t want me anymore.  There is incentive to do a good job!  Talk about moral hazard temptations abounding all over the place.  Why should I care if I do a good job since there will certainly be no rewards.  What are they going to do?  Fire me.  Wait, they already are.  My incentive is not to care so much since job performance means nothing.  Who cares about customer satisfaction?  It will be a tough walk for all those involved.  Should I take my sick days while I can, even though I am not sick?  What about those paid vacation days I have accrued, use them all, now?  How much time should I dedicate to finding a new job?  It will be a temptation minefield to remain integrity, honesty, and dedication to the company who feels in most senses to have turned against us.  To remain proactive and pushing forward where there are very few incentives will be difficult.
What does the future hold now?  I haven’t had much time to relax and think I am content lately.  The next few months will probably hold even fewer.  The table now has to include job hunting.  I haven’t even completed writing the personal statement and applying to law school (which has some large costs as well, although Amanda tells me I can’t apply to California schools now).

Jonas Family Photos

Jonas Family Photos

It has come time for the information regarding the Jonas Album.  There are a couple of generations in there, but like the Andra line, I will not include much information on the living individuals.  Only those familiar with the line will find those photos interesting or of much value.  However, you may be able to figure some of them out by their names.

Some of this information has been given in previous posts.  Particularly in relation to the Coley album and the Lost Trunk.  I do have quite a bit more information in relation to some of these families.  I have told some of the stories previously as well.  I will have to post more later.

Joseph Jonas
10 Jan 1859 – Frenchtown, Monroe, Michigan
23 Jun 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah

Married
Nov 1883 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Annetta Josephine Nelson
18 Nov 1864 – Logan, Cache, Utah
23 Dec 1907 – Provo, Utah, Utah

Children
Margaret Jonas
17 Jun 1884 – Logan, Cache, Utah
17 Sep 1904 – Thorpe, Kittitas, Washington
Mary Nelson Jonas
17 Jul 1885 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
21 Sep 1899 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
Rosa Nelson Jonas
5 Sep 1886 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
20 Feb 1951 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
John Nelson Jonas
14 Aug 1888 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
19 Dec 1918 – Richmond, Cache, Utah (Influenza)
William Nelson Jonas
2 Dec 1889 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
14 Apr 1972 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Joseph Nelson Jonas
19 Nov 1893 – 19 Nov 1893 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
6 Sep 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah (electrocuted)
Annetta Josephine Jonas
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington

Christian Andersen (married previously to Caroline Mathilde Halverson)
9 Oct 1873 –Christiania, Akershus, Norway
9 Aug 1957 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

Married
29 Jun 1904 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Rosa Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Children
Rosetta Mabel Andersen (married Vordis Rio Cazier)
23 Oct 1905 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
9 Jun 1981 – Townsend, Broadwater, Montana
Christian Cyrus Andersen (married Florence Zelnora Child)
21 Dec 1907 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
7 Jul 1980 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Annetta Cleone Andersen (married Christian S Miller)
24 Nov 1909 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
19 Jun 1981 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Merlin Andersen (married Ruby Harris)
20 Sep 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Dec 1998 – Westpoint, Davis, Utah
Verla Jonas Andersen (married Howard Wayment Lythgoe)
16 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
22 Jun 1999 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Arvie Jonas Andersen (married Dorothy Dean Hobbs)
30 May 1921 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
22 May 1990 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

John Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
5 Jun 1912 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Nellie Armina Jonas
26 Jul 1889 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
11 Dec 1953 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Calvin Anderson Jonas (married Viola Florance Chapman)
6 Aug 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
17 Jun 1991 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
Melvin Anderson Jonas (married Doris Everts)
31 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
16 Jul 1944 – San Marcos, Hays, Texas (drowned, married Doris Everts)
Armina Anderson Jonas (married Don Farnes)
5 Mar 1919 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Mar 2011 – St George, Washington, Utah

William Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Jan 1921 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Karen Marie Thompson
31 Oct 1892 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
13 Jun 1980 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Delwyn Thompson Jonas (married Myrna Mae Bowman)
4 Jan 1922 – Logan, Cache, Utah
10 Dec 2003 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Maynard Thompson Jonas (married Lois Rae Lemmon)
9 Apr 1923 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
31 Jan 1997 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Gaylen Thompson Jonas
14 Mar 1925 – Logan, Cache, Utah
19 Sep 1944 – Peleliu, Palau Islands
Vaughn Thompson Jonas (married Dorothy Wiley)
7 Sep 1926 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
8 Aug 1991 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Carvel Thompson Jonas (married Beverly Clayton and Barbara Williams)
17 Sep 1934 – Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah
Still living
William Thompson Jonas
22 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
23 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Joseph Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Sep 1916 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Lillian Coley
26 Aug 1898 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
11 Feb 1987 – Layton, Davis, Utah

Children
Joseph Herbert Jonas (married Hilma Grace Erickson)
14 Aug 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
23 Jun 1993 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Spencer Gilbert Jonas (married Viola Amelia Cole)
10 Dec 1920 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
26 Aug 1996 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Irwin John Jonas (married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz)
2 Sep 1921 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
11 Jul 1944 – Lowe, France
Wilburn Norwood Jonas (married Colleen Mary Andra)
15 May 1924 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
14 Mar 1975 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
Ellis Seth Jonas (married Geraldine Pitcher)
6 Sep 1926 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
12 Aug 2012 – Smithfield, Cache, Utah
Evan Reed Jonas (married Lona Rae Jensen)
4 Sep 1928 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
4 Feb 1999 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Lillian Annetta Jonas (married Ray Laurence Talbot)
15 Jul 1930 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
20 Feb 2009 – Layton, Davis, Utah
LeReta Mary Jonas (married Lowell Hansen Andersen)
1 Aug 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Still living

Wedding Day Photos

With the constant barrage of e-mails of people wanting pictures, I have finally some for the offering.  Many of these albums which have been loaded (five of them) came from Bryan’s camera (Amanda’s father).  I hope you enjoy the pictures.  I have tried to remove too many of the same thing, but some of them were just different enough to make things interesting.  They were in order of time, but after naming them they have taken on alphabetical order and I have not the energy to go back and fix it.  So you will have to make due with the order.  Besides the difference and variety might keep you more interested through all 117 pictures.  As soon as I have other pictures, or some of the professional ones available, I will post them as well.  I hope you enjoy them.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our honeymoon to California.  We have had a wonderfully beautiful condo for our stay.  I very much appreciate James and Catherine Cazier for all their Sunday meals, but now for this condo as well.  They were so gracious to offer it.
We have enjoyed movies, time to relax, Christmas, and little excursions all over.  Yesterday we went to Calico, the old Ghost town north of Barstow.  It was definitely a tourist trap, but I very much enjoyed the visit.  Amanda and I even took one of those old west photos which I will have to be sure to get up on the site as well.  We have grown closer and closer.  Something I would not have thought possible.  We commented often after the marriage that nothing had really changed.  However, with the benefits of marriage, we have found our love and relationship at a newer, deeper level.  Something we could not have imagined only a week ago.  Only heaven knows where it could be in another month, year, or lifetime.  Hopefully it only progresses.  Like the old hymn, there is no end…
We have both admitted our appreciation for all the love, gifts, e-mails, letters, cards, and more in our behalf.  We intend to do our best to reply to each and send out thank you notes for every gift offered.  I am sure now because we are imperfect, we will miss somebody.  Nevertheless, we are very grateful and appreciative.  Thank you.
Well, I will close.  It is getting late.  Enjoy the pictures.  Feel free to e-mail me and let me know what you think.

Interesting Days

It is strange how coincidence seems to play into our lives. Even I, a low staffer, an Idahoan, who is of very little importance in the realm of all men who have walked upon the earth have the privilege of meeting such amazing men. There are giants around us and we very seldom realize it. Most of those will never be  recognized or accredited for what they do. However, today I wish to pay tribute to the common man (men and women, you know what I mean…man is not without the woman, and woman not without the man). There are souls around us who affect us so deeply that they forever change our course. Most of them are the every day run of the mill who humbly go about doing their duty. Many men do what they can to get by, others in service to others oblivious and often doing more damage, but then there are those who know what they need to do and do it well. Those who seek to do what they do well, live their lives to the best of their capability who influence the most.This week I met a man by the name of Mehmet Ali Talat. He paid a visit to Senator Smith. He is the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It definitely is not every day that we meet the President of a small country. What is more, one that is a bit more questionable in the eyes of many nations. Besides that, he is a very powerful man. He came with his entourage and sat in the office for a while (the Senator was meeting with the President of Starbucks…how ironic) and then left to visit with the Senator in his office. I do not know the culture, I do not know the man, but he seemed very deliberate and almost unhappy. The whole group seemed almost dire in many ways. While I can boast that I met the man who leads another nation, he left little or no influence upon me.

The same day, I met a man named Bob Livingston. A representative from Louisiana that served in the house for over 20 years. If I remember right, he was even Speaker of the House of the United States for a short time. A powerful man in the United States who served for a third of most people’s lives. (While there are hundreds of people in the U.S. government and I have come to learn it is just another job, it still holds a mystique) He sat with me for a few moments and was so concerned about his blackberry he couldn’t even visit for a whole five minutes. Another man who influenced millions of lives, but in lasting tribute will have little more than name recognition to go with his face in my life. Do we recognize the influence we could have on people, but due to our own concerns and selfishness do not take the opportunity to reach out more often.

If you would not know it, I was giving a tour this week and while explaining the Capitol Ceiling (which is always accompanied with my looking around while explaining rather than peering up a dozen noses) and I recognized a man sitting on one of the benches on the outer parameter. I excused myself from my tour group for a moment to go say hello to the Governor of Idaho, my beloved home state. I walked over, shook the hand of Dirk Kempthorne, and introduced myself. He looked pensive and contemplative. I somewhat regret having visiting with him as he seemed almost melancholy, but I was thrilled with the opportunity. Here was a man who took a few moments to say hello and learn a little about me. He did not brush me off and seemed somewhat interested. This man, while definitely with his own thoughts, took a few moments out to focus on the one. He will have a much more lasting influence than the President of a small nation or Speaker of the House. Nevertheless, many don’t like the Governor, but he seemed much more willing to care about other people than the first two.

In that tour group that I excused myself from was a former Senator of the State of Oregon. Neil and Mary Bryant were a different breed though. They were engaging, willing to share of themselves and learn of others, and even reached out to meet others. They and their friends Neal and Linda Huston were fun to take on the tour as they were so willing to get along and be a part of society. They are good individuals who loved to learn. He tried to stump me on historical facts of the United States of the Pacific Northwest (which my knowledge is not very good, I just got lucky that I knew his answers). They were by far the best people I met that day. While not as impressive in stature of the world, they left an impression that will be much more lasting.

With all that said, I want to recognize some of those who have affected my life the most. Colleen Jonas. Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ. Milo Ross. Sandra Jonas. Amanda Hemsley. Brad Hales. Kathy Duncan. Ted Tateoka. Kevin Orton. Nicole Whitesides. Laurel Hepworth. Marie Lundgreen. Kathryn England. Anna Badger. Chris Horsley. Megan Duncan. Dustin McClellan. James Cazier. Tom Kunzler. Altan Hardcastle. Warren Crane. Gene Hansen. Lorn Duff. I am sure there are more, many more. Thank God for good souls who reach out and connect with people. Who care more for others than they do for themselves. May God forever bless those who have affected my life and may I return the favor to all I come in contact with.

The low down on Miss AH

Well, the details about Amanda. Since everybody keeps asking. Here we go.

She is a beautful, red head at about 5’6″. She grew up in Kaysville, Utah about 20 minutes north of Salt Lake. She has two parents (duh) Bryan and Jill, and three siblings Derek (16), Scott (12), and Alyssa (6). She is a biology major at Utah State, but after we marry will finish her last semester at BYU. She plans on attending Virginia Commonwealth University and become an Dental Hygienist.

We met at Utah State as we both lived in the same ward. The first month of the school year the Elder’s taught the same apartments they had from the summer. I home taught her apartment the first month and met her then. I don’t remember anything in particular about the incident, other than she struck me as the usual freshman, but cute. There was something that intrigued me, but I never thought twice about it. I would say hello to her at Ward Prayer but otherwise never saw or visited with her.

It was not until the end of January that we had a snow storm that dumped snow on us. We received about a foot and a half overnight. Well, being the dutiful Elder assigned to keep some of the sidewalks cleared, I was out shoveling snow. It was a chore to keep my sidewalks clean. Finally when it slowed down some, I thought, well what is the point of shoveling walks if they have to walk through it to the church. So I started shoveling a walk all the way to the church doors. I had crossed the parking lot and was headed by some trees when I was nailed in the side of the head with a snowball. Looking around, a girl who I could not recognize with her hood and everything was looking very innocent. I walked over to her and told her we needed to chat. Putting my arm around her, I picked her up and did a full body plant with her in the snow and then proceeded to white wash her. (I could full body slam her in a foot and half of snow, so I did) She laughed, I laughed, I helped her up (I now knew who it was), and then went back to shoveling. Only seconds later, I was hit by another snow ball in the side of the head. I turned around and was more shocked by the audacity of the girl, (J Golden Kimball comes to mind, “You damn sons of perdition, have you no respect for the Priesthood!) and thought well, here comes another white washing. Again, she did not attempt to run and I proceeded to dump her again and white wash her. However, when I planted her, she put her elbow down, and I heard it hit the pavement. It visibly hurt her, so I felt really bad. I helped her up, felt really bad, and walked her home. I promised I would make it up to her somehow.

A few weeks later, I finally got up the nerve, and a hole in my schedule to take her out. A married friend (James) of mine was given a turkey at Christmas. His wife (Catherine), hates turkey, so he told me to bring a date to dinner, a hungry one. After being turned down twice, Amanda accepted. I did not tell her we were having dinner with a married couple until on the way there, that way she could not back out. We had dinner and played games afterward and my friend insisted on telling stories of me the whole time. After the date, she seemed to enjoy herself, I was impressed with her demeanor, and decided I wanted to take her out again. A week later I was invited by a family in Richmond to come to dinner and bring a date. I did, another awkward date, but she handled it well. I have been taking her out ever since. She keeps letting me!

She really impressed me with an understanding of astronomy. It was also very impressive how she studied biology and could retain it. She was learning it, not just studying it to pass a test. She is one very smart cookie! That kept my attention and she has taught me many things. A very thoughtful girl, deliberate, and interesting. She has a quiet confidence which is very attractive. That is not to mention that she is really cute too. She loves me, and everything has lined up perfectly. Sometimes I think it is too perfect how everything has turned out.

Anyhow, that is the story from my side of the paradigm. Any other questions, feel free to let me know.