Ides of July

There is not loads to report for this week.  I have applied for probably nearly 50 jobs online.  I have an interview tomorrow for a position with Combined Insurance.  Who would have thought?  What are the chances? Grandma worked for Combined for 30 years.  I have in essence sold Combined Insurance for 6 months of my life.  That is probably the equivalent that I spent with Grandma out on the road selling insurance.  I sure loved it.  Funny what we remember isn’t it. 
There was a couple of times we went to Soda Springs to sell.  I remember the Caribou Lodge.  It was my first time going over, I must have been about 4-6 years old.  We were in the old 1974 two door Mercury Cougar.  What a car.  As we came down the pass from Lava Hot Springs we hit a pheasant.  The old car took it in the headlight cover.  So when we needed the light, we were Popeye into Soda.  Grandma liked the Red Baron pizza and she promised that she would treat me.  Accordingly, we went and bought one and took it back to the Caribou Lodge.  It was only then we realized that we did not have an oven.  Grandma went down, and knowing the owners well, asked if they would cook it.  They agreed and we ate Red Baron Pizza.  It sure was good.
This was my first time on the road selling with Grandma.  She had taken me several times to other places close like Kimberly, Twin Falls, Wendell, and American Falls. I always felt so loved.  She would buy me clothes and completely dress me for the week.  This week, she bought this little red suit that had zippers over the pockets.  It was a short sleeved shirt with shorts.  She gave me the permission to carry the money if I promised not to lose it.  So I would zip it up in my little pockets and keep it safe all the time.  Made me feel like a million bucks. 
Every morning we would get up and she would make oatmeal out of the packets.  She had a little warmer that you put in the coffee cup and it would boil the water in the cup.  She would pour the water in with the oatmeal and we had the little feast every morning.  She would comb and part my hair with a duck’s tail in the back.  I felt like a little prized doll the way she took care of me.
It was this same week that we stopped at this home to visit some people.  That is one thing I remember, we always had leads.  Grandma never knocked not knowing who lived there.  This house was on a corner or curve in the highway.  I could probably take you there today, even though I was only about 5.  We were sitting in the front room of the home and the people kept commenting on how adorable I was.  Being a little bashful I asked to go in the backyard.  I went out and stood at the back fence watching a baseball game.  Never had seen a baseball game.  I was thrilled, it was warm, slight breeze, and the shining metal baseball bat.  Our visit came to a close and they were begging Grandma in front of me if they could keep me.  She asked me if they could keep me and I remember breaking out in tears. They thought I was so much more adorable.  It would be funny to know who lived there and see if they even remember this.  I very much doubt it.
One of the best parts about being with Grandma and doing this insurance business was that when we set out to drive there, she would give me all the lead cards.  Sometimes there would be up to 200 of them.  It was my job to take a look at the map and figure out where things were.  Then I would go through and organize the lead cards according to street, and then line the streets up to area.  This was a big job coming to towns like Idaho Falls/Rexburg.  I remembered I became quite the pro.  The entire week we came back to the car, I could tell her the house number of the next house, and then would direct her how to get there.  I became a master at map reading and directions.  Even to this day, I can look at a map, get a good feel for where anything is, and I can know how to get where I need to go.  Coming to Richmond, I think Amanda is constantly amazed that I already know where everything is.  I already know the main streets, where they are, and where they go.  Even in church today, changing our ward boundaries, I knew all the roads they talked about.  This has been a great blessing to me.  All thanks to my beloved Grandmother, and Combined Insurance.
It is funny how much we remember.  At least me.  I have noticed that others are not so fortunate.  I remember that same week going to the sulfur mines and Grandma showing me where the Circle A trucks were.  She took me and showed me where my Uncle Doug lived at the time.  (Uncle Doug moved from there about 1987, which means I was definitely younger than 8.  I remember going to Grace, Idaho and Grandma showing me where Evan was raised.  I cannot take you there now, even though I have tried to find it.  Evan and Grandma divorced in 1987 as well.  I remember her taking me to the Minne Tonka caves, Bennington, Georgetown, and even little Niter.  Oddly, driving through Chesterfield a few years ago, it seemed too hauntingly familiar.  I still don’t know if it was from an expedition with Grandma or if it was for family history purposes.  (I did later find family history links)
This weekend we went to Northern Virginia.  Amanda and I have made a commitment to keep President Kimball’s challenge to the Saints that if circumstances permit, members should attend the temple at least once a month.  I have done this ever since I came home from my mission.  I have done it pretty well since I was endowed, except for several months in the mission when missionaries were not allowed to attend the temple.  Accordingly, Amanda and I needed to attend for the month of July and thought now was as good time as any.  We went up Friday night, stayed with Dennis and Gwen Thompson, who I lived with when I worked in Washington, D.C..  We spent the evening, caught up, and planned out Saturday.  Saturday, we went to the temple, dropped Miss Mandy Lundstrom off at the Baltimore Washington International Airport, drove to Annapolis, Maryland; and then crashed back at the Thompson home.  I did 15 initiatory at the temple and Amanda/Mandy both did a session.  We got lost getting there as we talked and passed every single junction for a free way.  Mandy was staying with the Thompson’s.  Oddly, she was the old girlfriend of Brad Hales, my good friend and old roommate.  She was going to ride the train from Springfield clear to BWI with all her luggage. Knowing how horrible that is, how much I hate traveling with luggage, I offered our services.  Plus she got to go to the temple one last time.  Amanda and I then ran to Annapolis to see the historic downtown.  Sadly, we got there 5 minutes after they closed the statehouse.  But we drove around a little longer.  The Maryland Capitol is the longest used Capitol in the U.S..  It has also served at the United States Capitol while the current one was being built.  It was in this very building that General George Washington resigned his commission of the Continental Army.  Wonderful history.  The College of St. John is right by as is the United States Naval Academy.  The town reminds me so much of Britain.  I love it.  I recommend all pay a visit there.  Go to the Capitol when it is open. I did last year and enjoyed it.
Anyhow, we came back to Richmond this morning and got ready and went to church.  They reorganized our ward, but as we did not know anyone, it did not make much difference to us.  At least we don’t have to attend another ward.  It was a good day.  At least we got a new lesson, no more of that adultery lesson we had for the last 3 weeks. 

The Approach

Everyone keeps asking me if I am nervous and anxious about what is coming.  Well, honestly, much to everyone’s dismay, I am completely calm about all of this.  I am reminded of the classic Smith saying, I am as calm as a summer’s morning.  Now, that does not include the preceding sentence about being a lamb going to the slaughter.  Some might say that, but I most surely do not.  It must be admitted that my still being here in Washington DC and not seeing anything leading up to it might be helping.  We are within a week.  I feel no apprehension at all.
On another note, yesterday I walked out of the elevator reading a letter and accidentally ran into a man.  He fell backwards and against the wall.  I apologized and helped him into the elevator.  It was only as I walked down the hall I realized it was Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina.  It made me feel bad.
I will definitely miss Washington DC.  It is such a beautiful city.  I imagine the feeling here is like the first visitors would have been to Rome, London, Paris, or some of the other ancient magnificent cities.  Plus there is a certain ability to keep learning here that I enjoy.  Many other jobs are not so requiring on a person to continue to learn.

Thanksgiving

I know, I know, I have not been keeping this as up todate as I could.  Oh well, things are going very well.  I am enjoying life and have had a great refreshing break.  Just a few more weeks and then I am done and headed back to Utah for graduation, marriage, and happily ever after.
For Thanksgiving Break Anna Badger, Brad Hales, and Jeana Stuart all came to visit for the holiday.  It was great to have them here and I very much enjoyed their presence.  It was quite the adventure.  They arrived on last Friday and I took all of them back to the airport today for them to fly out.  I assume they made their flights and are all safely at home now.  With most of which I write, there will be photos to go along in the Thanksgiving Gallery.
In preparation for their coming, Genny in the office got them tours at the White House, Capitol, Library of Congress, National Cathedral, and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.  They went and saw several other museums and various other things around Washington DC.  Last Friday night we went on a midnight visit of some of the monuments.  We went to the Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington, FDR, and other things around Washington.  I showed them the main buildings and gave them a sort of feel for the overall layout of the area.
Saturday we went to the Washington DC temple.  We also paid a little visit to Georgetown and went to Arlington National Cemetery.  Sunday we went to church and the Washington Memorial Masonic Lodge.  Monday through Wednesday they went on their tours.  Monday afternoon I met them at the Library of Congress and went on that tour with them.  It was amazing.  I really appreciated the beauty and time that obviously went into the building.  Very impressive building.  I took them back through the tunnels to Russell from the Library of Congress.  That was quite a bit of a walk through the house buildings, Capitol and back.  They enjoyed it.  Tuesday I gave them their tour of the Capitol and tried to sneak in some extra perks for them, however, with another couple on the tour we did not get to show as much as I could have.  Wednesday I got off work at noon and went and met them at the Museum of American History.  I enjoyed that.  I could have spent quite a bit more time there.  I enjoyed the science aspect, nuclear, transportation, First Lady, and Presidential exhibits.  I could have spent a few more hours in the building.  I will have to pay them another visit.  There are a few museums I still have not seen.  I want to see the Native American, Modern Art, Printing and Engraving, and spy museum.  Sometime I will have to pay them a visit.  I suppose there is always a time in the future.
Thanksgiving was great.  We enjoyed a trip to Mt. Vernon and had a great time.  You can see the pictures from that adventure.  Yesterday we trekked to Monticello and Montpelier, but due to circumstances and preference, we did not get into either.  At one it was “too cold” and the other we were “too late” so what was to be done.  However, I stumbled on another little town I would love to move to some day and spend the rest of my life.  Orange, Virginia, an amazingly beautiful little town.  There are a few of them in my life.  Ashland, Kansas; Blair, Nebraska; Quray, Colorado; and now Orange, Virginia.  It was amazingly beautiful.  I hope some day I can organized a piece of property into something so magnificent so as to add to the community to which I belong.  We all loved the beautiful well kept estates that lined the roads.  Orange was particularly beautiful.
We all come to understand each other a little more, we come to see and understand our weaknesses and strengths a little more, and hopefully we will have learned from our close interactions.  I sure enjoyed their company and the opportunity to entertain guests.  More importantly, it gave a little more initiative to get out and see some of what I am surrounded by.

Masons

Well, just a little short entry about a trip on Saturday.  Gwen took me to the Washington-Alexandria Memorial Masonic Temple.  I have seen the building many times before, especially since the Metro goes right past it and it is off the King Street platform.  I remember flying into DC and seeing the temple out the window and thinking it was a county building or a judicial building.  However, it is a Masonic Temple built in memory of George Washington.  George Washington belonged to the Lodge in Alexandria.  It is a fully operational Masonic Temple, but it also doubles as a museum for George Washington.  It was fascinating.  The first time I have been given a tour of a Masonic Temple.  Always had to do my own exploring before.
It was very interesting.  It gave quite a bit of history of Solomon’s Temple and attempted to recreate many scenes within.  If you look at my pictures you will see pictures of some of it.  Big sculptures of Washington dressed as a Mason.  There are many pictures from the temple.  The other pictures of from Mt. Vernon, Washington’s home.  There is a man making his own lace.  How very interesting!  Washington’s carriage and chariot.  There was all kinds of things.  In the temple they had a bunch of crusader things that were the real thing!  No replicas, real armor and sabers from the time period!  It was all very interesting.  Especially in relation to the LDS temple.  Some claim we got our ordinances and material from the Masons.  (If you do your history Joseph knew of the temple things almost 10 years before he joined the Masons)  Anyhow, they have many interesting things.
George Washington is everywhere here.  Rightly so, he was an amazing man.  Anyhow, that is all I have for tonight.
Oh, I saw Rosa Parks today.  That was interesting to see someone lay in state.  Another significant thing for my time in DC.

The usual

A short entry in update of the events of the days.  I continue to be fortunate to see and run into the most fascinating people.  I visited with a lady today whose husband is a 3 star general.  She invited me to dinner and said she would like her husband to give me a tour of the Pentagon (I gave her a tour of the Capitol).  That will be something I look forward to cashing in as a great learning experience.
Judge John Roberts paid a visit to the office today.  I had run some things to the Senator’s car for him and was returning his keys to him.  As I was walking from his office, Judge Roberts was ushered in.  He shook my hand, I stood aside, and he went into the offices.  I did not even know he was coming, but nevertheless, I was more than happy to shake his hand.  I felt fortunate to shake the hand of the future Supreme Court Chief Justice.  What an honor.  I feel his power, I can sense a certain awe at the intellect and goodness of this man.  I do not sense this with most others I meet, they just don’t radiate power.  I sense the power of their office, but as individuals I don’t sense it.  This man though, I feel the power of his person.  I can only imagine what he could do for the highest court of the land.  I am completely comfortable with him and his person.  After some of my experiences lately, he gives me strength that some things are working for the benefit of our government.
Walking through the tunnels to get to Capital South Metro stop, I was walking through the basement of Cannon with Gavin, my fellow intern.  We were walking behind a man who seemed familiar.  I then said in a distinct voice, Mr Bishop.  He turned around and it was indeed Mr. Representative Rob Bishop from northern Utah.  I was pleased to walk and visit with him for a few hundred feet.  Nothing really interesting.  He seemed tired or down.  I hope he is well.  It was good to visit and meet him and shake his hand.  What I would not give to sit down with one of these individuals and pick their brain for a while.  I sensed a good man, but downtrodden.  I wish him all well, especially in the House of Representatives, one can get lost in there.  Such confusion!
I love the opportunities to meet and visit with these people.  I am impressed with the amount of power these people hold.  I am impressed with the strength and ability of Washington.  I only wish and pray I felt more individuals who held this power within.  Bishop seemed like one who could, but was tired or down.  Roberts is a moving individual.  Well, I close another entry.  The little run ins are great, but I wish I could learn more!

Goodbye Boise, Be Good

Yep, the time has finally come for my disappearance from the scene of Boise.  I have never been one who has been terribly sentimental.  After all, time marches on, and nothing I can do about it.  The old saying, “The only thing that is constant is change itself.”  So I just accept that, move on, and keep trying to enjoy what is happening now.  There are always opportunities now, so take them.  Don’t worry about opportunities missed otherwise you just end up thinking about yesterday and accomplishing nothing today.  Besides, if I am faithful and all those about me are faithful, we shall all meet and associate again.  What is more, the bond we feel will always continue as long as we have the Spirit.
I will be sad to be leaving Boise.  It has really grown on me.  As a kid it was always a dirty city with old run down buildings and where everyone smoked.  The downtown has definitely rejuvenated since those times.  I have enjoyed walking around downtown and getting to know the city.  Plus much of it has been replaced, rebuilt, or has been cleaned up.  Plus I like the intimate closeness of the streets and people.  Salt Lake has always seemed so open and cold in many ways.  I guess Logan is laid out the same way, but is much more intimate, personal.  However, they could use some training as well.
Anyhow, I have said most of my good byes in town.  I visited with Gary and Diane Spackman for a spell last night.  Diane said she had really enjoyed having me.  I enjoyed it as well.  The quietness, the great air conditioning, my own room, wireless, yep it was quite the cushy situation.  It was a bit of a ways away, but it was worth the drive.  I will forever be able to say I lived in Eagle, Idaho.
Tom and Erika Kunzler were always so good to offer me meals at their home.  I was so glad when I finished my online summer course.  I did not have to be constantly reading and doing the papers.  I would always go to Tom and Erika’s because I liked the company, plus they helped with the expectations to do my homework.  At home, I have this bad compulsion to procrastinate.  Settle down and read what I want rather than Managing Human Relationships.  Erika one of the weekends I took her down home with me told me how much I had affected their lives.  I am so glad I am a blessing to some people.  Sometimes I feel like such a burden.  Good thing I like to go traveling and visiting people.  They were so good to me.  Feeding me every evening I was there.  Always making sure their home was open and welcoming to me.  They gave me a going away breakfast yesterday.  It was my favorite, biscuits and gravy!  Yep, I know, I am spoiled rotten!
Marc Johnson and Lyn Darrington took me to lunch the other day.  I enjoy listening to them discuss the topics at which the firm is currently occupied.  It is always so interesting and I love it.  I could do this type of thing the rest of my life.  They asked for my take on being an intern and what I suggested they do in the future.  They also gave me some great insight and encouragement for the rest of my life.  I really like them.  This morning Cecil Andrus (addressing him as Governor Andrus just seems to formal!) wished me well and sent his hellos to a few individuals.  He asked me to make sure I send an announcement and all that jazz.  I have enjoyed his perspective as well.  Marc made me promise if I ever make it to Boise with Amanda, I am to pay them a visit.  All three of them said they would be more than willing to provide references for me in the future.  That I really appreciate.  Will in DC asked me to come visit.  I look forward with more association with the firm.
I was chatting with Paula today in the office.  She told me all the bones that she had with my being an intern here.  I am glad we were able to resolve these issues.  Too bad it was on the last day I was here.  I did not know there was a bit of a struggle over this internship before I got here and some bitter feelings still existing.  Plus in some ways I guess I made Paula look bad.  It all seems better though.  I hope so.  She wished me well.
Anyhow, I am headed out of town.  I am headed home to unpack, pack for DC, and Tuesday I fly out.  So long to the west for 4 months.  Good bye my blessed Amanda.  Good bye my beloved Idaho.  Good bye my coveted desert.  Good bye my cherished mountains.  Good bye Boise, Be Good!  Hello Washington D.C.  Hello humidity.  Hello life in the political center of the world.

Portland

A wonderful weekend in Portland. A much needed break in the drive to Preston, Burley, or Logan every weekend. Tom, Erika, Seth, and Gabriel Kunzler all went with me. We left Thursday afternoon and wound our way to the center of the blue state. The sun set on us in Pendleton so from that point on was mostly not too interesting. I saw a couple of the dams on the Columbia river, and they were beautiful with their shimmering lights. I dropped them off in Gresham and made my way to my Sister Becky’s house. They moved to Portland about two years ago onto Peacock Lane and purchased a 1920′s Tudor House. They have been fixing it up ever since and have it almost done, all except the kitchen. It is a beautiful classic home. She has decorated it with the pastel and rich colors which were popular during the 30′s and have been coming much more back into style. I have always loved the Art Deco colors. Joe, her husband, was in town because he had hurt his back. The constant stress of traveling, meetings, working, and various other things sent his back into little spasms which have laid him up for a few days and probably will for weeks.

Friday I awoke and visited with them for some time. I was given a full tour of the home and the neighborhood. For lunch we went to a authentic German restaurant which was very good. I enjoyed my sauerbraten and spatzle. I did not partake of the beer, but enjoyed an amazing raspberry lemonade. I had to stir it every single time I wanted to drink so the raspberry would not all be in the bottom. There were even seeds in it!

That evening I was privileged to attend the swearing in of Molly Bordonaro. She is the new U.S. Ambassador to Malta. Her husband is part Maltese so I suppose that is one of the factors that put her in favor with the President. The story goes that every time she has met the President, she has been pregnant. That supposedly endeared her to him as well. I don’t know if it is because a pregnant woman would require more effort to do those sorts of things, or the nobility of motherhood. It was an interesting affair. Those who were supposed to be attending with me missed their flight so I ended up flying solo at the affair. It was a good experience. I met and come to know many more people. I also met fellow associates from The Gallatin Group for the first time. Shelley, Julia, Chris, Kent and his wife, were all there. Greg Walden of U.S. House of Representatives spoke and conducted. Also speaking were Senator Gordon Smith. I did not get to visit with Senator Smith as he was always cornered by other individuals. He did give me a hello wave as if he recognized me, but I really don’t think he placed where he knew me from. I was sad his wife, Sharon, was not there. It was a great evening. They took so long to get dinner going after the event that many people left. I decided to do the same. After all, hanging out with some snobby and increasingly drunk lawyers was not my thought of a great continuing evening. It was interesting how I would start visiting with people and my being an intern caused them to quickly lose interest. However, it was fun to have one man come up to me and was so interested after he found out more about the Gallatin Group. He started telling me all about what he does and his business and a myriad of details like I was a founding partner. He must have missed the fact that I was only an intern in our first introduction. He gave me his card, his personal cell written on it, and other little notes and requested us to remember his business. My personal preference is still friends first, then business. I seem to have misplaced his card too.

Saturday was an interesting day as well.  Joe and Becky took me to breakfast at “No Fish! Go Fish!”  It was really good food and I thought everyone was friendly.  The owner came out and visited with us most of the time.  Afterward on the walk home they informed me that Shawn was gay.  I remember the thought crossing my mind, but it didn’t really matter to me.  They went on to tell me about Shawn and John were one of the first couples in Portland to be married.  It was a few months ago, I guess just short of their one year anniversary that their marriage was declared unlawful.  He seemed like a nice man, I did not have any problems with him.  I have to admit, if he can cook that well, I really don’t have any problems with him.  It then led to a discussion of people and their reactions to the gay segment of our society.  We also discussed how people treat them as individuals.  Without going into the political side of the argument, we basically agreed on one thing.  Somehow in our denunciation of the actions of these people, we as a people somehow find it Christian to treat with utter disdain this people.  Being so entrenched in our way of life and our notion of right and wrong, being entrenched in our opposition forget there are people’s lives at stake.  While I will never entertain the lifestyle that these people espouse (pun intended), it does not mean at all I should ever treat them as subhuman.  Becky and I discussed an individual we know who would find it completely unbearable to even be in the presence of Shawn.  They may be okay to begin with, but would fester and before long say things which they should not say.  Or flat out ignore him the entire time.

As part of the discussion Becky told me of a story of a member of Joe’s family.  Who considers himself a good Christian.  However, because Becky has not been “active” in a religion that she somehow is sub Christian, or unable to think in Christian terms.  What is worse, he proclaims to be a Christian while treating his family in ways that are plain rude and inconsiderate, if not verbally abusive.  He made the comment that since Becky came from a family of divorced parents that she would have the same inclinations towards divorce.  He had the nerve to ask her what she thought or what she was doing to avoid a divorce.  (This was before her and Joe married)  He then went on to counsel her about Christian living.  She informed him that while her parents may have divorced, she had two sets of Grandparents who were not.  Plus they were more Christian than he could ever hope to be, and they didn’t have to go around proclaiming it to everyone.

On the same note, there seems so many people who are so set on protecting the Christian way and lifestyle that they have forgotten to live it.  While we do not permit any form of adultery, it doesn’t mean we still stone everyone in the street.  Which is the equivalent to what some of these professing Christians do.  Moreover, it extends to the conservative party in many ways.  They are so set on providing the perfect life, what they determine to be the right way of life, they don’t care who they stone along the way.  I do not agree with their lifestyle at all, but I cannot force them to live my way.  If I don’t like it, well, suck it up and get on with it.  I remember the scriptures talk about gathering to people of similar beliefs.  Of leaving Babylon and letting them go on to their own destruction.  I cannot remember any scriptures whatsoever that talk about transforming or making Babylon live the the Christian life.  We keep that up we will end up with a state similar to the history of the Catholic Church.  Many, many Catholics, but most simply in name.  Heck, lets go back to Constantinople and force all of Rome to be Christian.  Oh wait, we are already headed that way.  Suddenly I sound very blue!  I am not either party.  In some ways I am Constitutionalist, other Fundamentalist, others Republican, and yet others Democrat (heaven forbid!  Utah higher education failed here!!  Pass some more laws!).  Too bad Utah State does not teach down any particular line.  Randy Simmons, don’t let the Utah State Legislature find out.  Lets stick with the basics of the Constitution and let people govern themselves.  Even better, Common Law, which I advocate always is much better to the governing of society than Statutory Law ever was.  I think some in this country are beginning to see this.

Anyhow, Saturday afternoon Becky and I made a trip to downtown Portland.  What a great city.  Their buildings have style and design.  They don’t all look the same.  I applaud the Portland urban renewal belt.  It is helping revitalize the city.  While Portland may claim to be the most green city, they have some serious roads yet to make in their downtown area.  Some streets had trees, others without.  Some were hot concrete jungles, others were nice, shady, beautiful areas.  What a beautiful city, hopefully that will spread throughout the rest.  You get so far out of the downtown and it is a dump.  In fact, driving into Portland Thursday night, I had a fight between two end up in the road and I nearly ran them over.

Well, off my little soapbox about politics.  Saturday night Joe and Becky took me to dinner with a couple of their friends.  Hal and Mindy seemed like a great couple.  She teaches acting or something like that at Portland University.  I don’t remember what Hal does.   Since we were in a big city, I told Becky of my hankering for some good Indian food.  Especially if I could get a donner kebab.  So we met Hal and Mindy and ate at this great Indian restaurant.  There were not any donner kebabs, but I had this amazing chicken korma.  We ordered and somehow my future marriage came up.  It then came knowledge to Hal and Mindy that I would be married in an LDS Temple.  So cornered me and asked if I was excited about learning all the secret stuff that happens therein.  In jest I assured her I already knew.  Becky told her I had already received my endowments and that this was just the sealing.  They did not know there were multiple ordinances performed in the temple.  She turned to me and asked if I would tell her the secrets.  I told her I could share with her those things which are in the scriptures and thereby give her a general overview of what takes place therein.  I went on eating my appetizer and realized they wanted it now.  Well, for the next hour I taught them the overall scriptural ideas of the endowment.  They found it utterly fascinating.  Hal at one time was quite the scholar on the ancient tabernacle in the wilderness so I did the discussion completely from there and the Temple in Herod’s day.  They really liked how I kept tying the Old and New Testaments together and were apt to asking questions before I could even finish a topic.  Finally after nearly 2 hours we had gone through the endowment.  Washing, Anointing, Garments, New name, Adam and Eve, covenants, and finally the sealing.  What was great was the promptings I felt of the Spirit to where I could nearly quote entire passages of relevant scripture.  Obviously I did not reveal any of the signs, keys, or tokens.  Mindy as a acting instructor found the theatrical portion ideas of the endowment to be very interesting.  We discussed some of the ancient plays recorded in the scriptures, Greece, and Becky even brought in this one part about the Native Indians.  It was a very fascinating conversation.  In discussion of the covenants portion of the endowment, I discussed why the covenants were sacred and why we do not reveal or tell them.  Hal made the most interesting of all evening on how he missed the rituals of organized religion.  He commented how he noticed there was a certain mystic, power, in the ritual.  I instantly thought of some Hugh Nibley and thought to refer him, but did not.

The conversation moved away to politics.  They were noticeably impressed with the clarity the endowment made.  They said they would think about it and next time definitely have more questions.  Perhaps I may be able to refer them to the missionaries next time.  However, after the discussion of the temple, they then asked what my political leanings were.  Especially since they liked the way I thought.  We ended up discussing marriage, abortion, stem cell research, death penalty, republicanism, democracy, the proper role of government, and a whole host of things.  Joe and Becky were much more a part of that conversation.  By the end of the evening I just barely finished my food and we all had a great time.

That evening we were plum tired out.  So we decided to go to bed early.  However, Becky and I stayed up and talked about family, genetics, and traits until nearly midnight.  It was a good bonding experience.

Sunday rolled around and I finally awoke and got ready for the day.  I had blueberry pancakes with Joe and Becky and then headed out to pick up Tom and Co from Gresham.  It was good to see Chad and Morley again.  They are good guys.  Rather than going home on I-84, we chose U.S. 26.  It was a beautiful drive.  We found the church in Madras but they had it earlier in the morning and there was not an afternoon ward.  We tried again in Prineville, but they were just letting out of church when we got there.  There are two wards, but the second ward started at 11:00 AM so that put us too late.  In the end, we were not able to attend church.  We tried.  There were some really cool little towns on the way like Mitchell, Dayville, John Day, Prairie City, Unity, Vale, Nyssa, Parma, Notus, and back to home.  It was interesting to drive through Nyssa and see the Sugar Factory there.  I have known of it all my life with my Dad’s association with Amalgamated Sugar.  I have recently heard much of it working for The Gallatin Group and watching DR-CAFTA with Amalgamated and their closing the plant this year.

Today found me back at work and loving my job.  This is my last week, so there are some bittersweet feelings there.  Nevertheless, DC will prove to be fascinating and interesting.

Entering August

The month of August has finally began and the countdown continues to approach the day I leave Boise to head to DC.  I fly out officially on the 23rd.  My last day of work being the Friday before.  It is approaching quickly and I am anticipating yet dreading that day.  It will start another wonderful learning opportunity.  On the other hand, it removes me far from Amanda.  It is also a date that I have to have finished all my online classes from the summer.  I am mostly up to date on the homework and writing, but I could speed things up a bit so I don’t have anything at the last minute.  I will surely miss the Gallatin Group here in Boise.  It has been a learning experience.  I have caught a glimpse into many fascinating areas of life.  I appreciate the level of independence they have allowed me and the responsibility they have given.  While it has not necessarily taught me much more about government or theory, I did get to learn about some of our clients and their situations.  I wish I could have worked on the day to day information on at least one client and learned what they really do here than just their marketing and some of their research.  Oh well.  Perhaps that day will come in the future.
The month is brought in with a wonderful weekend preceding in Utah.  I was able to sneak down and surprise Miss Hemsley on Thursday rather than Friday.  It also gave me the opportunity to recoup some from the trip down before coming back up.  That was greatly appreciated, even though I did not get as much sleep as I would have liked.  We got to spend some good time together.  A highlight was our date to Murray to see “Harry Podder, Dude where’s my Wand?”  It was very good and I enjoyed it.  More so, I enjoyed the company of the most beautiful girl in the whole world.
Another bit of exciting news, I have the privilege of going to Portland on the 12th to see an Ambassador sworn in.  This will be a very fascinating thing.  I will hopefully get to see my sister as well and spend the weekend with her.  If not, I will just come back the morning after.  I think that is exciting.
I have to comment on what such wonderful friends I have in my life.  I was able to visit with a few people over the weekend in person and on the phone.  My life is truly blessed by such wonderful individuals.  Some of them have been there for decades now, and that I think is nothing short of miraculous.  Especially how I am such a bear to put up with at times.  I thank heaven for them and hope I will find many more such friends.  I hope I may be able to add something to their lives for the better as well.
Think I better close out.  Much to do yet today!