It has been three years to the day that I left Utah to go to…Utah. Well, Utah, and then Pennsylvania. I went from civilian life to a life of service. I went from trust to testimony. I spent two years doing some of the most difficult, most frustrating, most challenging, most changing, and, ultimately, most rewarding things which I have ever done in my entire life.
One year ago, I came home, swapped the white shirts for tees and the slacks for jeans. After doing so much so differently for so long, what did I do with myself when I came home?
- For personal reasons, I decided to stay in my home ward instead of going to the local singles ward. I got a calling as a young mens advisor, teaching Priesthood twice a month and doing my darndest to be a good example to those boys.
- I promptly returned to the Space Center in Pleasant Grove, working the daytime field trips in an effort to inspire elementary school kids not only to seek education in math, science and technology, but also to inspire self-confidence and teamwork. I wanted them to feel like what they did made a difference, and that they could do difficult things on their own.
- Family matters prompted a spontaneous trip to Disneyland!
- Thanks to my brother, I got hooked up with a sweet job at BlenderBottle in the IT department. As I have mentioned before, this has been a blessing in so many ways, and a great opportunity to share the gospel.
- I got involved with the Space Edventures Foundation’s Farpoint Creative Team. Basically, it’s a team of the Space Center’s finest throughout the years. Our goal is to develop a simulator, controls, a universe, and curriculum to enhance the Space Center’s methods of education.
- This involvement included me breaking a vow to never write a single line of code again. Now, together with my brother, I’ve started a company specifically for creating custom websites for clients. I’ve also become interested in making a career out of it.
- I went back to school during the Spring Semester at BYU. It was then that I decided to change my major to Pre-Graphic Design, in the hopes that I would be able to improve my skills for my work with Front-end development.
- I spent the summer running summer camps and teaching programming classes for an American Fork company called Simply Coding.
- I programmed a Design Your Own BlenderBottle web app which was used for a marketing campaign in June. You could customize your bottle with different colors, images, logos, and text and enter it into a contest. The winning bottles were actually made and sold for a limited time.
- After not being there to see them leave, I was able to be there to see my amazing friends come home from their missions, one by one. It is a truly humbling thing to know that all of the people I surrounded myself with in high school and college were eager to give up part of their lives to serve their Father in Heaven.
- After intensive prayer and one too many times of being asked to substitute teach Primary in my home ward, I decided it was time to move out. I packed my things and found myself rooming with my brother down in Provo.
- The very first day I moved into my apartment, I got a calling - Activities committee co-chair. It has been vastly rewarding to be in a position where I get to scramble around in the weeks and days before an activity, trying to put something together that will be both fun and uplifting, only to see the pieces miraculously fall into place. I consider each and every successful activity to be a tender mercy of the Lord.
- I started school again, focusing on the pre-requisites for Graphic Design. * Suddenly, I realized that I was an art student. This was a very puzzling, concerning thing. Nothing against art students, of course; I just never imagined myself being one of those people who carted around a drawing board and 50 different kinds of art utensils.
- I got a girlfriend, and it was really great while it lasted. It taught me a lot about people, relationships, trust, honesty, and love. I can say I have no regrets. It was a time of my life which I am certain I will always remember.
- I applied for the Graphic Design program, hoping for the best. A few weeks later I learned that I was not accepted. As I contemplated, I wondered if it was really what I wanted, if I was willing to struggle for that Graphic Design degree. I haven’t come up with an answer yet.
- Following finals, I spent a wonderful two weeks with my parents and sister and had a delightful Christmas and New Years.
- I went back to school, taking some pre-requisites for Information Systems and Engineering. This is a guy who doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
So there you have it. That is my year in a nut shell. I can’t say that I did as much as the two years before it, but I think I have done well with what the Lord has given me. Here’s to another year! Cheers!
I actually had a cool opportunity to do some member missionary work at BlenderBottle. I was doing some wiring on a conference room table, and the electrician was obviously a guy with a story. He always wore a black hoodie and beanie, he had earrings in both ears. He just seemed like he had seen some life. He knew that I was fairly new at BlenderBottle, so he asked me about what I did before. I told him about my mission, to which he responded, “I never went on a mission.” As it turns out, earlier in his life he had some unfortunate interactions with some ward members which pushed him away. At this point in his life, though, he realized that he needed to make some changes; you see, he was now a dad and he realized that his kid needed good influence in order to make it in this world. I told him to read the Book of Mormon and get in touch with the missionaries - they would know how to help him teach his kid the right things. I don’t know what became of him, but I hope I had a good influence on him.