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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weld Your Broken Life Back Together


                                                              A Welded Repentance






     Welding is a process that not many people really know a ton about. There are a couple of pretty simple elements to welding. We need to have two pieces of metal that we to put together first off. After we have these two pieces of metal, we then need to space them a correct amount of distance from one another. Once placed in the correct position it is time to really get down to the actual welding. Whether it is mig, tig, or stick welding it doesn't matter, because the same system works for them all and for the type of metal that you are welding together and what is necessary for certain jobs. At times you are welding aluminum together and at other times you are welding one inch sheet metal into a dump truck bed. No matter what the job is, the same principles are still present.

     We turn on the welding machine and place the end of the stick or wire close to our metal and as we get it close it will "strike and arch". At this instant is where you can be a good welder or more of a poor welder. You must stay calm and not jump, because it will shock you at first when it begins. As you stay calm and begin to move the rod and use the heat that it is producing and the new metal that it contains, you start to actually weld. The metal melts and forms a pool in between these two pieces of metal and you start to work this pool, or what is often called a puddle. You can work this in a number of different directions. For example you can move in a circular motion, a zig-zag motion, or a U shaped motion. While you work this puddle you move from one end of the gap between the two pieces of metal to the other end. When you start moving away from the starting end and getting closer to the other end the first end begins to cool and shrink in size, therefor making the gap on the other end get bigger. This gap getting bigger will make the final process harder, but when you take your time and continue to move you can finish welding the metal together.



     Once cooled you will be able to see a ridged path down the gap that you just filled up. There are a couple things to take into account here to know how good of a welder a person is. The ridged path might be really rough and look terrible, a lot like if a 8 inch twizzler were to stay the same width but be pushed into only a 5 inch length. I hope you get the visual there, if you don't grab a twizzler and try it. At the same time, with this type of a weld you will have deep grooves in the metal right next to the actual weld on either side that are nearly broken clean through the pieces of metal. Now on the other end of the spectrum you will have a weld that is perfectly smooth and would look like on solid and long tootsie roll that was smoothed out a little on the top and looked like glass. This is obviously the more  preferred type of weld to have, because there is also to grooves on the side of this weld when you are finished.


     One more perk that comes with this last type of weld is that when a weld is done like this the actual weld itself becomes the strongest part of the metal that you now have in one piece. If done correctly and with enough heat, once pressure is applied to the metal, the weld will stay strong and one of the side pieces will break instead.



     If a side piece breaks, don't be worried. You can grab your rod and go to work on connecting that back to your other piece again. With time you can end up having one piece of metal that is nothing but welds instead of any of the original metal. This one piece that you now have though, will be much stronger because of the heat and the pressure that has been applied to it. And then followed up with a good cooling process that is best done just setting out in the room temperature. If the metal is placed in water directly after being welded, it will actually be weaker than if is sits out until it can be handled.




     The welding process is such a great connection to how we can repent in our lives. We have to do a couple of simple steps no matter what the sin. First we have to realize that we have sinned, or we have to see that a piece of metal is broken. Next we need to see that with the metal broken it isn't a good thing, or in other words, we need to feel bad for the sin committed. Once we realize there is a problem and know that it needs to be fixed, we stop doing that sin right then. Or, we will stop putting stress and pressure on that piece of metal. Once we see that there is something broken, we need to take it to the shop to get worked on. In the Gospel it is called confessing and taking the problem to God so that you can begin to be healed. Now we are going to actually begin more of the fixing. When you have metal broken sometimes you will need to beat it in to place with a hammer and then bend it some more, and tweak it here and there. This is making restitution. We have to do what we can do and then God will make up for what we can't do. You won't ever be able to look at the metal and make it mold back together. Just like by yourself you will never be able to repent of a sin. God now will be able to help you through it because of the Atoning sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ. Once you have beat the metal into a pretty good position you will turn on the welder so that we can use the heat and actually weld the broken pieces back together.

      Often we find ourselves with more than just ourselves tied up in a sin and if we do then we need to get both people together to solve the problem and then let the Atonement work once we have forgiven each other and done the things that we can do. These type of breaks are often easier to fix, while sometimes harder. It's like having a metal hammer and the end breaks off of it, so you bring them closer together and then weld them right back together. On a regular occurrence the problem is within yourself, much like if a flat sheet of metal had been worn for years in the middle, and finally had a big hole appear in it. This is so hard to fix because you don't have extra metal or another piece to join it with. You have to just build up the metal with welds from the edges of the metal until you fill the whole in the sheet. When we have big internal sins and problems for long periods of time it will wear and tear on you. There will come a point when the only option you have is to use the Atonement to fill the gaps. It is never an easy fix, but these repentance points will make us stronger once we go through the actual repentance process. You see the sheet of metal will never be able to fix itself or become whole again with out a welding machine, and someone to run the machine.


     It is such a blessing in our lives that Jesus Christ our Savior Atoned for each and every persons sins that will every walk this earth. Because of that we can be made whole, and that is the only way. "For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." - (2 Nephi 25:23) I know that the Atonement is real and that you will be more blessed through it than by any other means. I invite each and every person who reads this post to take this and apply it in your life today. If your life has a broken crack or a thin worn sheet... go to God, pray, find a friend, and get help so that you can become whole again.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

A Backflip of Hope

Backflip




     I grew up skiing since the time that I was just four years old. In our family all the girls learn at the age of three how to ski, and the boys learn at the age of four. Skiing is something that I began to love. I remember when I was in just first and second grade and we would skip one or two days a week it seemed like to go up to the local ski resort. The ski resort is a place where I have learned many life lessons that I will remember and use for years to come. One of the most essential lessons that I have learned from skiing though was through the process of trying new tricks and learning how to do a backflip.
   
     When I was younger I would always try and ski with the older kids. I did this some in part because I wanted to be in the "cool" crowd and be popular. The other reason would be that I saw how they were good at skiing and I wanted to be good like them. Some days they would help me learn new things about how to be better and how to go faster and stop quicker and how to approach a jump. All sorts of different things helped me to learn from them. Sometimes we would go down a run that wouldn't get used a ton and they would build some huge jump and when it was all done they would say something like, "Ok little man, you've got to hit it first to tell us how good it is, and you can have a good fresh landing." I always did it,not always that smart looking back on it now though. I would hike up the hill a ways and then they would just keep telling me to climb higher. Once again, I would always just do it. I loved doing this and I feel like it helped push me to the point of being uncomfortable, or what I like to call, the stage where you learn the most.

     After a while I began to improve greatly and I started to make a lot of progress in the quality of my skiing. Then I started seeing the people that were still doing way more tricks and I knew that I still had room to get better. So I started to push myself the best that I could and I started skiing with them every chance I got.
 



      I remember the day that I did my first 360, I remember the times when I was just young and entered in the big jump contest in the winter carnival. Soon all of the older kids were graduating high school and leaving and with time I got with some kids my age that wanted to be better also. I can't tell you how many wrecks and cuts and headaches and bumps and bruises followed in the next several years, but I can tell you that there were a ton of them! Up to this point I had been focusing on spinning and doing iron-cross and spread eagle type of tricks.



     What next? We decided to go inverted. Now this is where the real life lesson will begin to apply. Every weekend we would get together and build a jump or two and try backflip after backflip. Now I don't know if you have ever had whiplash before, but that is exactly what happens when you under rotate on a backflip. Trust me, I have done it many many times. You are feeling all good about your rotation and then you realize that the tips of your skies aren't going to clear and that they will catch. There is nothing you can do. When your tips hit the snow and go under immediately they stop and your upper body and head take the momentum and speed up until they smash into the snow. If this is a really good powder day then you are going to be ok probably, but when it isn't the greatest day in the world  I'll tell you that it'll get to you. The other option that you have is you can over rotate. This one has a different feeling all together, but still not a pleasant one. It's a lot like if you were to get picked up by the ankles and then dropped from four or five feet head first onto a trampoline.






     So as you can tell, doing a backflip isn't an easy thing to learn. With this process comes a lot of pain and trials, but that was something that I knew when I first wanted to learn how to do one. I can't hardly express the feeling that I got the first time that I actually landed my first backflip. It was like I was as light as a feather and just smooth sailing through the air. The sense of accomplishment is so soothing and peaceful. you feel like you have just conquered the world.






    It's not always like that though. Because there are so many times that you try to do it after you have actually succeeded and you just can't seem to do it again. I think at that point you just get laser focused and you try so hard that you actually end up putting yourself in a bad situation. I would just keep trying and more regularly I would actually start to land a backflip. Still to this day, I struggle with landing a backflip every time that I try, but because I know that I can do them I continue to try until I succeed.


 

  As I have spent this time skiing and learning to do different tricks I have learned a number of different things. This Backflip lessons has to be the most influential though. Because of this connection in real life experience I know that I can return to live with my Father in Heaven. I know this because I know that I was there once, and that gives me hope that I can be there again one day. Once I had done the backflip, I knew I could do it again no matter how many times I failed. Now I know that no matter how many times I fail in life or make a mistake or sin, that I can overcome it and I can be with My Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ again. This must start with a knowledge of where we have come from. I know that I lived with God before I came to earth and so it gives me the daily hope that I can return to Him and the faith that I need to do it.





     I want to invite each of you to take a look at your life and the great things you have done and the amazing places that you have been.
     Next I want you to evaluate if where you are currently at can improve so that you can get back to those points and beyond.
     Once you have done this, take action! The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of hope and peace that requires Active Faith. 


         

Saturday, November 16, 2013

It Gives Life Eternal

Grace

I see the Joy inside you
Every time that I'm around you



                     I look back and see
                   Just how it used to be



             Now I look up, and now I see
         How God is helping both you and me





He's right there beside us
In the very storms around us




First you need to believe
He was sent here to save you and me





Then we work a little harder
Because of the Love of our Heavenly Father



When you lay down your head at night remember
What he did to heal her



He walked by, and what'd she do?
She stuck out her arms and said, "I love you too"



She stretched forth her hands and had the faith
And then was healed by His simple grace


It's easy and it's beautiful
And it gives life Eternal

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Enduring in the Garden


     Early morning, older kids are gone to work and we have just had breakfast. Dad comes in and says to us, "Let's go weed in the garden."

     This was a pretty typical thing to hear on a cool summer morning when I was a younger kid. I'll be honest with you, at the time I sure hatted to hear it. And it still slightly makes me cringe. Now this wasn't just any typical garden. Being from a big family we needed a big garden to help feed us all. We had two actual garden plots aside from the raspberries and rhubarb that we grew. One was about 40 x 20 and the other was more like 40 x 60. So as you can see we knew that when the day came to weed the garden we knew it was going to be an all day type of chore. Dad would usually go out and work some before he would ask us to join him right after breakfast and sometimes even before breakfast. I believe that he would do that so that he could show us what he wanted the finished product to look like.

     This is where the bad part came in to play. Dad was gone a lot when I was younger and we (the kids) seemed to neglect the garden a bit when he was gone. We would water it because that part was easy. The weeding we rarely even thought about doing. When Dad would finally be home for longer than a few hours before he left again or on a Sunday these were the days we definitely had to work outside in the garden if we weren't gone else where. This you might find funny, but I found it kind of fair, we would give each person a couple rows to do for their part. The older you were the more that you had to weed.

 

     Myself, I usually had only about two rows and sometimes only one. I worked so hard but I had a couple problems that I faced. Since while Dad was gone I didn't bother to go out and weed, the weeds were growing quickly and so big. You know the saying... "Growing like a weed"? That's not just some old man's crazy thought up saying. It is real and comes because of how fast weeds grow. Plants take a lot of time and nourishment, and weeds take just a little water. So, because I didn't weed my rows, in just a couple weeks the weeds I had to pull were four foot tall with a tree stump for a root (or so it seemed to me at that young age). So what better thought than the one my brother and I had. We had an old machete that we liked to play around with and we figured we would put it to good use. How convenient right? We get to play and work at the same time. It was like we were in the jungle or the forest. We would get all our might and chop the weeds down at the ground and when we were done we would loosen up some dirt and cover the bases of what was left. Now if you were half blind and knew nothing about weeding you could walk on by and think that we had done a grand old job. Then Dad would come home...

     So here's a man that grew up eating from a garden, he weeded that one and has had one ever since. He comes home typically late at night. This is when he would do his first check on the garden. It would appear all nice and freshly weeded at midnight with only a half moon. I imagine he would be some what pleased and go get some rest for the night. The next morning was the problem. He would go out and check the rows for good to see how well we did. So from what you already know we know how he found in my rows. They would look halfway good and great in my eyes. It was then that my Dad began to get frustrated with me it seemed and get me out there a working. He would tell me and make it obvious just like I knew inside that I had to get the whole root out of the ground or I hadn't done my job. So I would spend a couple more days out in the garden slowly digging around each root and then pull them out with my hands. I would try a thousand different strategies and with time they all would work. I got the roots and finally my row would look all nice and pretty just like his.

     This is the process that I remember happening week after week, month after month, and even year after year when I was younger. It never was my favorite to go and work in the garden for a full day at a time. I had sticks to break and some bike jumps to make. It was never my dream to be out in the garden all day for a couple days at a time when I was a young boy.

     But it was those long days and the ones to come that would teach me one of the most important lessons about life that I would love to have learned a lot sooner in life than just recently as I have been looking back and pondering all these stories.

     In the following years from these experiences my Dad had a change in situations and could be at home a lot. Now it was so much harder to get away from the garden. It seemed to me that I found myself out there working with him and my siblings so much more than usual. Now we were catching the weeds when they were just grown up about a foot and some times two. These were the years where our garden really began to blossom. I can't ever remember just how many bags of corn and potatoes we harvested, but I can tell you that it was a lot. Once we started seeing that it was better to weed when the weeds were smaller than four foot tall and a big old root Dad started to see that we could use some extra knowledge.

     He was finally able to get his point across that if we were to just go out on a weekly basis and sometimes more often and weed the garden we wouldn't have these problems. He always said that the plants would grow so much better and the garden would look more presentable.  When I remember him starting on this strategy I was getting older. Now I had a job out of the house all summer long and I was rarely home for a day when a could do a lot. I still had my part but not nearly as much as if I was right there every day.

 

     Dad always set the good example, he would go outside and start his day by working in the garden. Every time I saw him doing this I thought that he was sort of crazy. The weeds were small and sometimes seemed to even be non-existent. He would do this so frequently that the garden always appeared to be freshly weeded and the harvest was so much more successful.

       This brings to my point where we relate this to our lives. We can have the gospel in our lives and have some good seeds planted, but if we can't just let it sit for weeks on end and only give it water. We will end up with these huge weeds and problems in our lives that seem so hard to get rid of sometimes we don't even try. But if we follow my Dad's example, often we will go out and work in our life garden.

     In our lives we each have a garden for the gospel seeds. We must nurture them and help them grow in every way we can. We have all the tools we need to do the work we just need to learn the process and the timing. When you think about this story you can see the sins and trials that we have and how they are the weeds that cause the problems. And when these weeds are bad enough the yield or harvest is just meager. We all want as much from the gospel as we can have. So how can we do it?

     My Dad taught me the great principle of Enduring to the End from these long days in the garden. If in our lives we are to go out with faith that our harvest will be great we will go and pull the weeds out so that the weeds can grow and change. This change in the garden is simply called repentance. We then add the water and some sun. Be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. And now what do we have? We have a prospering garden with only one missing step. We need to Endure in this process! We must on a regular basis go and pull the weeds out of our lives and freshen up our soil, followed by some water and some sun. It is only when we do this that we can get the harvest that we wanted when we first bought the garden seeds. One thing that you never see is what's under the surface in the garden. Some time you are happy because you are going to get all of these great surprises and other times the harvest seems like it will be so small. Then when you dig it up you find that there is more than you ever thought.

     We must apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, and most importantly we have to Endure to the End, the part that sometimes you hate to hear and it really makes you cringe. It is when we go through that process that we can see the blessing of Eternal Life and gain our Exaltation.

    Can I leave you with an invitation?......Please begin this gospel process where you last left off.

     I know that when you apply the gospel in your life you are going to see your life enhanced and the blessings will begin to flow from heaven into your life in abundance.
     

Friday, November 8, 2013

See the comment for the relation to the gospel. Today it's nice and simple.

That'll make a blister!

I wanted to put something on a little more lively and up beat today so I thought I'd write a poem.
I hope that you'll enjoy!
 


 Post Holes


Let's use a post hole digger
     For me it's been a while
     
You use the real elbow grease
     Now that's the western style

Some people think it's best to use a backhoe when you can
     They say the diggin' sure goes quicker
     
It won't make a farmers tan
     That's more like a city slicker

It doesn't help to build a man
     When you sit and pull a lever
     
It's when you really get a grip
     And hold on for forever

That the ground begins to move and shake
       It really starts to tear

Now you pull it out and make it clean
     Next you put a post in there

When the job is done 
     and you've tamped the post

You start to feel the burning in your shoulder
     But then you notice what hurts most

It's not your muscles on your back 
     Or the back of your right arm

You look down and see the blister
    You earned that one day on the farm  
     
     

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How can you help me...?

     Feel free to make comments on all my posts and ask me questions when you want. I want this to be more of an interactive blog. Tell me what you think and what you would like to hear about next.
                              Is your world dark and spinning? Have you given it your all?



    

     After suffering from many concussions through the course of a year and a half I found myself sitting out my senior wrestling season. I had wrestled since I was just a boy and it was quite the family sport. I loved wrestling and still do.

     Watching something you love go on and not being able to be a part of it is something that is so hard to do, and not well understood by others until they have had a personal experience with it. This is the beginning of my experience that has begun to mold and effect my life.

     Week in and week out I sat on the side of the mats and the edge of the room. I wanted in and bad. Every time I tried to take it on though I found myself in worse shape than before. Each time I did this I was more determined to get better and relax so that I could wrestle for the end of the season. Right after Christmas break I was feeling a lot better and not near as bad as before. I started practicing and slowly with time I began to integrate back in to the scheme of things.

     First week back we had a dual with two of the neighboring towns and these would be my first matches of the season. Great way to come back slowly with just two matches. The matches went well and in my favor. I was feeling really confident with coming back in to the season full fledged. Just a few days later was one of the biggest tournaments of the year in Vernal Utah. That weekend wasn't nearly as kind to me. After a couple of hard matches and some hard knocks to the head, I found myself sitting out of the rest of the tournament once again on the side of the mats and hurting in the stands.

     It was in those long hours that weekend that the thoughts of not being able to wrestle at state my senior year really began to ring in my ears. And from that day forward I was on the constant relax with the thoughts running through my mind back and forth on if I would make it back. I wanted it bad! I had been blessed enough to take state my junior year and I wanted to repeat my senior year.

     Week after week I was barely improving if at all. The principal and the head sports man at my school had talked and determined that I wouldn't be wrestling unless I was able to get cleared by doctors in order to come back for the rest of the season. ( This was at the beginning of the crackdown on concussions that is spreading across the states. ) Every waking moment I thought this through in my mind. I knew that my state was serious and that multiple concussions can put someone into a coma pretty easily. This didn't thrill me all that much.

     One night here I am, I find myself quickly sitting up in my bed at home. I am drenched in sweet and awakening from a frightening dream. I had just been wrestling in my state finals match in the events center when everything went black. Next thing I see is me getting carried off the floor on a stretcher and the crowd in a quiet hush. Not a pleasant thought and certainly not on to dwell upon.

     I moved this thought to the back of my mind and started to look forward to being able to wrestle at state anyway. This is my hard headed side coming out of me! A couple of weeks pass by and I am slowly improving, although it doesn't seem like it very much. I was able to get to a couple of doctors and get cleared to come back for the end of the season. My coach and I still felt that it would be best to wait and not come back until the regional and state tournaments since I already had enough matches to get me in to the regional tournament. This we figured to be a wise idea for my condition and for the physical shape that I most definitely wasn't in. When I practiced we tried to keep it smooth and calm so as to not cause more jerking motions to my head than necessary.

     Just about a week before the regional tournament one of my sisters comes up to me and tells me that she has something she needs to tell me. She then proceeded to tell me all about the dream that I had about a month earlier when I woke up in a cold sweet. When she finished her story she said that she had had this dream a couple of weeks ago and for a couple of days she was to scared to tell her husband because it seemed so real. Because she loves me and cares about me she told me about her experience and encouraged me to think about not finishing out the season. In the next short period of time I received a few more of these experiences with other sisters. This was something that really took me back and made me sit on my heals about making a decision to wrestle or not. Once again, my hard headed side took over and I said that I would wrestle and finish up the season.

     Regional weekend, I had a couple of rough matches that I was able to pull through, followed by a finals match that didn't end as well. I was worn out, had taken second place and felt discouraged. But I still had hope as I knew there was still the state tournament and that the state tournament is what matters most.

     The week before the State Tournament, I practiced very little this week and tried to be in the best condition possible for the weekend. Here again my coach and I had many discussions on what I should do. It all came down to the decision that I would wrestle.
 
      Tournament time! My first match wasn't anything to hard. I was able to pull off a win in a timely manner and therefore not get winded or knocked around very much. The second round match was much like my first round match. These two matches was already more wrestling that I had done in the previous weeks.

 

     Now I was in for the semi finals round. I was sure nervous, I didn't even know if I would make it this far and I was sure blessed to have done so. I was going to be wrestling a really good wrestler who had had a great season and proved himself on many occasions. As I stepped out on to the mat to wrestle this guy I knew that I was in for one heck of a battle. And a battle it was! Every second of every period was a grueling brawl. We were going at it head to head, wrestling like I had never wrestled before. I felt as though I wasn't there for half of it. We just kept going at it. All match I was just barely holding a lead by a point or two. The end of the match came and we were both so exhausted that we collapsed to the ground until we were able to collect ourselves to get up and shake each others hands.

 

     Friday night was over and I was in the finals. I was tired and physically beat. That night and through out the next day I relaxed as much as possible and I watched and encouraged my team mates in the wrestle backs on Saturday. At some point on Saturday, it must have been just before the finals round I talked with my coach and we were talking about how I was feeling and how I was going to wrestle. We came to a solid decision that if I couldn't take the pain, it wasn't worth the trials that would come from more complications from concussions and so I would throw in the towel and end the match, if need be.

     Finally in the Finals! What a battle it was. I was wrestling the same kid that beat me in the finals the weekend before at the regional tournament. He was so quick on bottom and hard to keep down. At the same time he was rock solid and hard to take down or get away from. I was in for a good long match. To be honest, I had no idea the way that this would go. It was tight the whole first round. At times we were both close to getting take downs, but neither of us could capitalize and score. By the end of the first round it was still 0 to 0. Second round was equally as hard. By this point things were becoming a daze to me and I was just reacting more out of habit than acknowledgment. We get in to the third and final round and everything is going so quick. We were just hitting one move after another, and never a stopping motion for a rest, not even for a moment. He was in great shape and I was just hanging in there. I think the score at the beginning of this round was like 2 to 2. During this round I had scored a couple more points and we were finally both on our feet again and the score was Me - 4 Him - 2. We had about twenty seconds or so left in the match and I knew that I could win the match if I could just simply endure to the end still trying to score, but not in a way that I gave him an easy opportunity to score. This is just what was happening and then I remember I swept to the left and slapped his knee for a fake shot and he sprawled as soon as I hit the shot.

     A chin to the head and I am drifting off. Things are getting grey with the events center spinning around me. All things are turning to a blur, and he has taken me down. The score now reads Me - 4 Him - 4. He had me. I felt as though I was a by stander, just watching myself in awe at how I was losing in the final seconds in my senior year with my whole family there to watch. I remember laying there on my stomach, face in the mat looking back on what coach and I had talked about earlier that day and the dream that my sisters and I had earlier in the season. I knew that I needed to throw in the towel. I couldn't take it anymore. I was just gaining enough sense to tell the referee that I was calling it, when the crowd really became a total low humming or buzzing noise. I was slipping in and out of it. In the midst of all these thoughts and the blurring sounds with the masking grey fog that seemed to be as real as the mat that my face was in, I heard someones voice. The first time I couldn't pick out what they were saying very well, so I listened once more as they repeated themselves.

     "Short Time! Short Time! Push it Tenor! Push it!". These are the words that I heard my coach amongst all the commotion going on about me. I wasn't going to throw in the towel. I was going to push it for the last couple of seconds or whatever he was meaning by short time, and if then I couldn't pull it off I made a promise to myself that I would throw in the towel. I knew that before I could do that I had to give my all for the last few seconds. As I moved to get out of the pin hold he was putting on me I began to stand and get away. In desperate measure he tried to through me in a head lock, and I did just what I had always been taught to do. I sagged my hips and pushed on his back.

     2 points take down, 3 seconds to go! I was up by 2 and my opponent had gave his last move. I did it, I pulled through in the final seconds. I slowly got up and walked to the center of the mat not thinking about much other than the pain I felt. I shook my all worthy opponents hand and had my hand raised. I was turned around and shown to the other half of the stadium and then released.

    

     I then began my thankful walk to the side of the mat to gather with my coaches. I remember swaying just a little bit, a lot like a buoy would sway after a lake just calmed down from a storm, right before the lake goes calm and turns to glass.

     Into my coaches arms I halfway fell as I reached the outer circle. He had said that I had wrestled well and he was proud of me.

 

     The other coaches right along my side were there to help me. They took me to the side and helped to evaluate my condition. I remember the care that they had for me that day and the love that was shown to me. For these things I will be ever grateful! Of these things I haven't mentioned my most prized lesson from this grand life experience.

     Is your world dark and spinning? Have you given it your all? That day in that events center with my face in the mat and the world coming down around me I found the way to get out of a dark and spinning world when I thought I had given it my all. Just as I was feeling down in the worst way you could imagine I heard voice that told me that I could. I had all my thoughts against it but this was a voice that I had come to trust. I acted on the call to move and this has blessed me ever since. In the moments following the lowest seconds I had faced there I was able to conquer all that I had come for. What had seemed so far away and out of my reach had become real and tangible to me as I acted when I was against it.

     From this I have learned that no matter how far life has you down, no matter how far you have gone and no matter what you have done... You can come back from it. Now it doesn't mean I never suffered from the problems that came from these decisions, it means that I was able to make it through them and still reach what I had shot for. I still have issues on a regular basis from the concussions, I would rather not have them. I would have rather learned this lesson another way if I could know it as well as I do now. I remember the moments and I can say that I have learned from them, but I have not forgotten what got me there. These are the things that have built me into the man I am today. I know that for each and every person in this world there is always a way out of their personal most dire situation. That way is The Atonement of Jesus Christ. He has been through it all and he is there beside you when you're down. He loves you and He cares for you. He wants to live with you. So please take His help and listen to the spirit! I know that when you do you will have treasures of knowledge that can bless you just as this one is one of my greatest treasured lessons.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

To see potential in life it takes time and failure



                                                             Take the green off him!

     The spring of my sophomore year of high school I was gathering up a colt or two to work with in the evenings after I got home from school. A man who I had previously worked for talked with me and he said that they had a horse that had had 60 rides put on him the late summer/fall before this spring. They just wanted me to ride him enough times to get any buck out of him that there might be because of sitting all winter and getting him ready to go for a hard summers work. Of course I said that I would do it and so I took this opportunity.
  
     It must have been a week or two later that they brought the horse out to my house and I put him in a pen for the night. A day or so later I went out and got him and brought him in to the barn to give him some grain and brush him down good and clean his main up. I believe in taking care of a horse well and having them look good all around when you ride them. So this go around we were becoming friends and getting acquainted. All went well, and the next day I planned on taking him out and working him in the round pen a little bit before I took him out and rode him.



     The next day I got home from school and went right out and grabbed him, brushed him down and saddled him. Then we went out to the round pen and I long lined him and he did really good and I also rubbed him down and everything. I wanted to take all of the cautious steps so that I didn't get in to any trouble just trusting the horse to much. By now though he was acting fine still and I was ready to be on his back seeing what he could do. I bailed in the saddle, while still in the round pen, and rode him around for a minute. Just as I thought, things were going great and he was responding well. So I opened up the gate and rode him out into the bigger field. Once out in the bigger field I got him on a trot and on a lope and he did good so I took him over to the fence that would let us out onto the BLM ground (government ground). At this point we are progressing quickly and i am trusting him a ton. We then proceeded to go on about a five mile loop. We went up a big hill behind my house to a radio tower up top and then we road the ridge to the south. What a great view and I was on a great horse. Things were going well and he was surprising me on every corner at how good he was for having not been ridden all winter long. There was a slight breeze and a great sunset. What a great setting and a fantastic place to be! It couldn't have gotten much better. We continued the loop we were on and returned to the house. Once back I gave him a good rub down and some grain and turned him back out.

     When I got back from work the next evening later on, probably around like 8;00 I thought that I would still go out and ride since he was a good horse and I could trust him. I did all the same steps that I did the day before, but a little bit quicker today. I was planning on taking the same loop that I did the night before, but making it just slightly larger. We were on a good lope headed up over the first little ridge towards the radio tower and ready to drop down in to a little basin when I could feel a change in the horses step. This isn't something that you can typically feel unless you have ridden a horse quite a bit. It was a small change and not a big difference, but once I felt it I knew what I was facing. I was in a run away. This wasn't much of a problem and I figured it to be an easy thing to deal with. I would grab the reigns and try and stop him and he would just bite down on the bit and run faster. I would grab the reigns and pull with both hands on one side and get his nose to touch the horn, but he would still be running straight pretty much, just blindly now that he couldn't see forward. At this point I figured I better at least let him see where he is running so that he won't trip and roll with me. So I did just that, but as I did so I still slowly pulled on him, and he began to turn, slightly... ever so slightly, but he was turning! We made a loop around the little basin at the top of the hill and he finally stopped once we got back onto the little dirt road that goes through the middle of the basin. Once he stopped I let him relax for a minute until we started going again and it was then that I had a firm knowledge of why I had the horse I felt. I started off again on a slow lope across the dirt road towards the radio tower. Once again, I felt a change in the horses step and I thought "here we go again, punk horse!". This time it didn't seem to be nearly as bad. He would start to veer off of the road and I would be able to slowly get him back on it, and then we would do the same thing to the other side of the road. Once we were in the bottom of the basin and had just started to go up the hill instantly the horse just takes a julting turn to the right and stays on his dead run right towards a barbed wire fence that runs parallel to the road about twenty feet from the road. I am thinking in my head at this point, " you have got to be kidding me! haha there is no way that this idiot horse is dumb enough to run through this fence. He'll probably try and jump it,... actually, I hope that he even sees it.". All of this is running through my mind so fast that it seemed to me like the horse was running in slow motion towards the fence. I realized that I didn't have time to jump off and not get in a mess, so I looked ahead and thought to myself. "Well I feel like I have lived a good life, I hope there are a lot of people at my funeral!" So what happened next? This oh so great horse from the night before ran right into that old barbed wire fence. I think he was stopping when we hit it, so we didn't go right through, but we stretched those wires to the max because when we hit it, I looked to my right and to my left, and I was even with the posts of the fence and right in line with them. Thank goodness the saddle I was on had big bucking rolls, they were what kept me in the saddle. He must have got cut at that point I am sure, I know that my pants got cheese graded a bit and I got my legs cut a little.
   
     He immediately started to back out of that as fast as he could and backed up all the way to the road, he turned off his hind end, and took off in his run away mode up the mountain. Now I was just not a very happy camper at this point and so I thought I would give him and encouraging thing or two to help him get up the hill and so I would give him some good smacks while thinking to myself, "If you want to run, we are going to really run, and straight up the hill!" The typical road weaves up a draw to the ridge and up the hill, or there is another older road that is partially grown in that goes straight up the mountain. This was my road of choice so that he would get worn out and stop. Then he would have the chance to think twice about what he had done. Also, I was thinking on the good side of my brain about an article I had read not long before that from the Western Horseman magazine. It was talking about the dangers and perks of using hills to train horses. So one perk was that they would be tired and more willing to obey, that was the thought I had just had. Now I began to think about the dangers of it and all I could remember was one that said, "Something dangerous about using hills to train a horse is if you get to the top and they aren't tired or calmed down, you still have to go back down the hill with them which can be bad." I took that thought out of my head, because I am hard headed and I had a lesson to teach this horse I was thinking!



     We continued up the face of the mountain and we were getting to the point where the horse starts to do the hope type of running to get the power to get up the hill and I was thinking that I was finally getting him worn out and things would calm down again. As soon as I started thinking that the horse must have been thinking he would be a smarty pants and so he turned to the left and took a couple of strides and then he turned down the mountain. Oh! Once again, the little boy side of my brain came out as I thought, "Well when I get to heaven I want a good video to watch of my life and so I thought of the movie Man from Snowy River. One of my favorite parts was when he took off running down the steep hills on his horse. So I put up my hand and began to make a ride of it." It was after a second or two that the wake up and realize what's happening side of my brain finally started to think. I realized that in the movie the horse wrecks close to the bottom of the hill and he was a good horse. I knew that the horse I was one wasn't that good and I thought that us rolling was definitely going to happen. I quickly shot my eyes ahead of us and all that stuck out to me was a big group of tall Wyoming sagebrush coming up. Now this horse had been jumping all the sagebrush it came to since day one and so I realized at this point that I was looking at the death scene.
   
     As we neared the big brush I don't remember thinking anything other than, "Wow, this is going to hurt! I hope the horse goes back to the house and that they can find me!"
   
     He jumped and gave it his all to clear the whole patch of brush, which he did without fail. But as we were beginning to land I felt his front knees give way under him and his left side began to whiplash towards the ground. I don't remember the next couple of seconds, but I am guessing that we must have rolled together a couple of times. The next thing that I know I am rolling to a stop and something tells me that the horse is going to land on me and so I need to roll myself just a little further down the hill. That's just what I did, and just as soon as I was out of the way the horse landed right where I was. I just laid there for a second thinking to myself, " Did that really just happen? Well I'm glad I'm still alive, I hope nothing on me is broken."
   
     The horse laid there for just a moment and then he stood up and arched the whole left side of his body towards me and looked at me like I was the son of the devil and he was dead in his tracks. I knew that I needed to grab him right then or I would be walking home for sure. I jumped up not thinking about my body and the pains I had and grabbed the reigns right under his chin, which to my surprise weren't broken, and punched him right in the face out of my frustration and anger. You know what? Ya, it didn't help! It just made me just worse and he continued to stand there. Although, inside I felt a little better by getting back at him a bit.
   
     Once I realized that we were both shocked by it and weren't going to be moving anywhere fast I rubbed the bloody dust/mud mixture off my face so that I could breath something other than the dusty clay dirt.
   
     Still not very happy with the horse, I bailed on him and walked him to the bottom of the hill and a little ways across the bottom of the basin, then i started him on a dead run for the house and didn't stop him until we were at the gate of the round pen. I put him in there and went to the house to grab some rags to clean myself up a little and him just enough to make sure he wasn't seriously injured. Once I was sure that he was ok and so was I ran him around in the round pen for quite a while and wore us both out even more. I spent a substantial amount of time that night with the horse trying to teach him a lesson. At the end of it all I left him in the round pen saddled up planning on letting him go in the morning.
   
     When I woke up and was upstairs eating breakfast my Dad came walking inside and asked me why I had not let the horse out last night. I then told him the story and my reasons. He told me that you still don't do that, and let the horse stand out there all night. I wasn't happy that he said that, but I realized I didn't have a choice because my dad had already let him out.
   
     Now it took me a couple of days to feel ready to tear into working with him again. I was pretty sore, and I had a bruise that took up most of the left side of my face that was pretty darn tender.
   
     With time I began to work with the horse more and he started to progress back to what he seemed to be the very first day I rode him. After a lot of work and even more time he turned out to be one of the best horses I have ever trained. I had everyone riding him and he would let you rope off of him. He was just an all around good horse. I gave him back to the man who gave him to me initially without telling him this story so that I wouldn't make them scared to ride him because of how good he was now. I figured they must have a had a bad experience with him in the past and I didn't want to feed the negative and scared thoughts that they had towards him since he was so much better now.



     Now onto what I have been able to learn from this experience. Through this experience I have been able to learn that God can see our potential and that he is going to be willing to work with us to help us reach it no matter how hard it is for him to work with us. Just like my experience with this horse we have similar experiences in our lives. We start out and we are so excited because of how good we are doing and so we begin to move faster, possibly faster than we should be moving and then negative things start to happen. The horse runs into the fence, you get cut up. Then we usually take that ok and we start to use it as motivation and we want to do better, while being slightly frustrated at the same time. We begin to see progress again, and with time we have another problem that is even worse than the first. It's bad and now almost everything we are doing to cope with the problem seems to be out of anger and frustration. We get to this stage in life rarely, but it does happen. When we get to this stage it is a final straw, and we really need someone to step in and help us out. In my case, it was my Dad. Just like our Heavenly Father, my Dad stepped in when I was struggling and he helped me out of a tough situation before I made things even worse with the horse.

     In life when things are past bad Our Heavenly Father steps in and helps us through His Son Jesus Christ. Once we received of His grace and His mercy we were able to correct what we did and build off of it. We didn't forget the past and I didn't forget this story or the pain that I felt, but I was able to positively with time turn it around and make something better out of the story than I had even thought possible. The horse became one of my favorites and with time I tried to buy him from the man that I rode him for. With time, we come to love and appreciate the trials in our lives even when they appear to be so bad that we can't get out of them or really even see a light at the end of the tunnel. I bear testimony that when you get stuck in life and you think you can go no more you have a Loving Heavenly Father who wants to bless you and wants to see you succeed. He gave His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ for you and because of this you can return to live with him with all the people that you love as they follow the same principles. I know this because I have had many experiences including this one where I have been able to learn about the principles of Faith and Repentance. I leave this with you today in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, Amen.

 

     I would love to get some feedback on this story and ones from the past. How are you liking them? Are you seeing them relate to you in your life? If so, how? If not, how can I help? What are some things you want me to relate to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
                                                                      Thank you all, - Elder Tenor Teichert