Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ma' knee

A return to my blog?? I can understand your doubts. Obviously, much has happened in the years since I posted. And maybe I'll get to catching up about some of that. But for now, I'm posting about my knee injury! Cause then I won't have to repeat myself quite as many times. :)

For those of you that haven’t heard the initial explanation, I injured my knee last Tuesday evening while playing softball. The weird thing was that we had an hour-long practice just before the game that evening, and I batted and fielded just fine; in fact, I felt quite pleased with my performance (hitting the ball to the fence multiple times), and I was looking forward to the game. So, game-time: We were up to bat first, and I batted third. On my first swing, I felt my right knee pop and it buckled under me. On the ground, I grabbed my leg and straightened it, and heard/felt things popping back into place. But I was out for the game, and I just iced it as I watched. Thursday morning, a knee doctor told me that none of the 4 main ligaments were torn, but beyond that, he didn’t know what was wrong. The X-ray showed that there might be some cartilage missing from the back of my kneecap. He ordered an MRI for a better look at the soft tissues.

Today, the doctor confirmed from the MRI that I did indeed gauge out some cartilage from the back of my kneecap (with my tibia, I think), and that I have two pieces of cartilage floating around in my knee. This happened when my kneecap dislocated to the outside of my knee. As it moved outside, I tore my medial patellofemoral ligament, which attaches the kneecap to the femur on the inside of the leg. I’ll go in for surgery on Monday and they’ll remove the loose pieces of cartilage from my knee (possibly put them back into place), and possibly reattach the ligament (or otherwise let it heal on its own).

If you would like to injure your knee in a similar fashion, I’ll show you how to twist your body in the right way!

Monday, March 9, 2009


Today around 2:30 I was sitting in the JFSB front atrium, and typing away on my computer. I should've been working on a paper or a diagnostic test, but I was definitely being distracted by something else. There was a guy sitting in the chair in front of me, working on his computer as well. He packed up and left a few minutes later, and after he was gone, I noticed that there was a wallet on the ground next to the chair. I went and picked it up...hopefully no one thought I was stealing it or something. I looked at the driver's license and recognized the face of the kid that had been in front of me. So I looked his name up on the BYU directory and called the phone number he had listed. He wasn't home, so I left a message with my name and number.

I had a class at 3:00, and I turned off my phone and went to it. After my class, no one had called, so I called the house back. This time, the guy was home, and I told him I had his wallet. Since he was coming back to campus, we set up a time and place to meet. So I gave him his wallet back right after I got out of Men's Chorus today.

Something similar happened a month or two ago. I was walking into the BYU library and saw a phone on the ground. I quite nearly stepped on it, actually. So I picked it up and called 'Dad' on the phone. When he answered, I explained that I had found a phone and was calling 'Dad'. He said his daughter had recently gotten married, and it was probably her phone. So I left my number with him, and he called his son-in-law. Then I got a call from the son-in-law, and he said they'd come meet me at the library (I guess they weren't extremely far away). So, they came and picked it up.

I don't mean to say anything to show off my goodness or anything; there are plenty of things I need to improve on. But I just want to share how satisfying it is to give something back to somebody that, if lost, would kind of send them up the creek without a paddle. If I lost my wallet or my phone, I'd be bummed for days. In both cases, the people said thanks and that was about it. I'm certain that neither party even remembered my name 15 minutes after the fact. But it felt good to give them their stuff. Why would I cheapen myself and try to gain anything from people who had accidentally left something behind?

I suppose that what goes around comes around - I lost my laptop charger a week or two ago, and didn't realize it until several hours later, when I remembered where I had taken it out of my backpack and left it on the floor. I couldn't find it, but the next day I went to the Lost and Found on BYU's campus and lo and behold, it was there. I recognized it because of the way I had wound the cords around it, though I hadn't marked my name. But I was really grateful to get my possession back. Being without a cord for a day was unfortunate, and having to buy a new cord would have been an annoying setback.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Background Details

I continue to sit here on my couch, somehow not getting around to that paper that I was supposed to have done already. Nevermind the fact that it just isn't that hard of a paper. But I think people can empathize.

I've had something on my mind lately. Yes, it's serious. Prepare yourself. I look around at other people's blogs, and I keep thinking to myself, "Self, your blog ain't that pretty."

Which leads to more thoughts. "Self, you should get a different blog background."

"But how, self? Where?"

"Self, 'tis a good question."

You see, I just don't know if there are good blog backgrounds/designs for men. I've mentioned this to a few girls, and they subsequently launched on some searches to find me blog backgrounds for men. But a bunch of them are all "sporty," and I don't consider myself a big enough fan or follower of baseball or football to have a blog background that displays some sort of ball flying through the screen or showcases some particular team. Well, there are others. But quite honestly, they just begin looking so doctored that they seem to cry, "My wife/girlfriend/female acquaintance made this blog background for me!" Or perhaps, "Yeah, she put so much work into it for me, I felt bad not using it. Yeah, I know it's 'cute'." And I just can't have it. My blog must be me. And currently, it seems that I am several different shades of green and some arrows and stuff.

Can I be fewer than one person?

I thought this was interesting. I ran into it on someone else's blog, and so I took it for a whirl myself, and here's the result. I do, however, think that it is actually wrong. Upon Google-ing myself in the past, I'm rather certain that there is another Cameron Poulter that lives in Chicago, and works for some sort of print company. Which makes two of us. He must be a great guy.
LogoThere are
or fewer people with my name in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Plans? What plans?

This is intended to be a long-deserved note to my readers about the current status of my life and the plans that I've made, am making, and will make. Ok, that sentence was meant to be really deep or something, and I don't think it was. I also kind of think that I no longer have any readers, since I've only posted a couple of things in the last several months. But if you find yourself reading this, I claim that to be headway.

"Are you graduating in April?" "Yeah." "Oh, wow. What are you going to do?" And my usual response is, "Isn't that a good question?" 'Cause let's face it, it is. In my previous post, I made a couple of references to what I'm doing now to plan for the future. Now, I'm following up.

At the beginning of the semester, I was seriously looking at options of postponing my graduation in order to complete a second BA in Communication Disorders. I've been tentatively planning on going on to complete an MA in Speech Pathology for about a year and a half now, and the headway I've made in that direction has been the completion of my minor in Linguistics, and several of the classes that people have to take to complete a BA in Communication Disorders. I've enjoyed all of it. I say, I've profusely enjoyed my entire college career, which I realize as I reflect back on it, myself now steadily moving toward the end of it. I've loved continuing to study Spanish and all the aspects of it: the grammar, the linguistic properties, the cultures, the art forms, etc. And I've loved being a Spanish Translation major and having my mind opened to what our minds are doing when we begin transferring meaning from one code to another. It's been enchanting to study Linguistics. And so I repeat, my undergraduate career has been enjoyable and has opened my mind in so many ways that I can't count them.

So I've taken a few steps toward an MA in Speech Pathology, although I discovered at the end of last semester that I was quite as close as I had thought I was to beginning it, because there are quite a few pre-requisites that I hadn't sufficiently researched prior to that point. That gave rise to my consideration throughout the two-week semester break of several options. One was to postpone my graduation for a year and complete a second BA in Communication Disorders at BYU. I looked at the requirements, and saw it as plausible to do. (Besides, it would've given me the opportunity to be in a BYU choir again, which I've thoroughly been pleased with being for three years.) Another option was to go ahead and graduate, and then complete an online program for a 2nd BA in Communication Disorders through Utah State. I probably would've continued living in Provo as I did that. And a third option was to just go ahead and apply to MA programs, and complete the pre-requisites before I started on the core of the degree.

After correspondence with professors from a few different schools, I ended up applying to the University of Utah for an MA in Speech Pathology. It was one of the projects I worked on through January; getting the materials sent to them, taking the GRE, and getting professors to write letters of recommendation for me.

Throughout the semester, I've continued receiving e-mails from BYU's career center and from my college and my organizations, and new options have surfaced. After a visit with a representative from MIIS, the Monterey Institute of International Studies, I came to the conclusion that I needed to apply there as well for a Master's Degree. They are home to one of the (if the THE) best translation and interpretation schools in the world. I heard talk of the school here and there in my two years of translation classes at BYU, but didn't feel incredibly inclined to graduate school at those moments. Anyway, I decided to apply. I also found out about opportunities to go teach English in Korea, Japan, or China, and began thinking about that possibility. Additionally, I found out about a job opportunity to be a Team Leader for an organization that does youth leadership conferences for high school and middle school students. As they have international conferences, I immediately became interested.

Anywho, the point of the current rambling is to say that as things now stand, I've finished my application to the University of Utah for an MA in Speech Pathology. I'm a good portion of the way through my application to the Monterey Institute of International Studies for an MA in Translation, and will be done soon. For both of those, I think I'll have a month or so to sit and wait to hear back.

As for the summer, I've applied for the job with Lead-America, and hope to be hired to work a couple of their international Ambassador Abroad programs. If that goes according to my hope, I'll be working for them all through July and will go to Costa Rica for two weeks and Europe for two weeks. And last week, Freedom from Hunger contacted me (and the team from last summer) and gave us the first right of refusal to another internship opportunity this summer. It would be shorter, just 6-8 weeks, and would take place in Chiapas, Mexico. Needless to say, I'm extremely interested. My eventual decision will depend on the time they decide. And personal finances. And other stuff. (That became a less and less definite statement. Oh well.) And I'm also probably going to apply to be an EFY counselor for a few weeks of the summer to fill up some of the other weeks that I don't have planned yet. Ideally, all three of those options will work out. But practically, it's a bit of a long shot that they will. But for now, I just need to wait to hear more from these opportunities.
Freedom from Hunger
And who knows, really...I may end up with quite a different future than any of my options predict at the moment. But most likely, come fall, I'll either be back close to home in SLC and attending the U of U, or I'll be in Monterey, CA, Latinizing myself at a pace that I may have never reached before. And hopefully, I'll have had an exciting summer!

I'm looking forward to the rest of this current semester as one of the best that I've had here at BYU academically, and I also plan to continue building friendships and having a really great time.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Christmas card? Er sumpin...

It occurs to me that I guess I'm old enough to where I can start sending out that Christmas card that gives the run-down of my past year. So along with that idea, I'll try to give some of my shpiel, despite the fact that I missed Christmas by two months.

2008 saw some great times. I spent the first four months of the year at BYU, in my third-to-last semester. Many of my classmates were actually in the last semester, and we were all working on our senior projects, which were 5000 word translations. (That was a step up from the usually 200-ish word translations that we were accustomed to doing.) I actually really enjoyed my project, and I translated the first two chapters of a manual of Hispanic phonetics, written by a professor who teaches here at BYU. I chose that book because I had taken a few linguistics classes by that point, and had declared a minor in Linguistics. I had also recently declared a minor in Music, but that doesn't have much to do with the present story. So, I turned out enjoying my project quite a bit. That semester, I also spent a good amount of time preparing for my upcoming trip to Peru. I had two prep classes in swing beginning the second half of the semester, one being a more general cultural-awareness prep class and the other being a more specific class in which we studied public health topics in preparation for our internship.

For you see, the internship that I had secured the previous November and December was a public health internship. It was an internship program run through the Kennedy Center, BYU's Center for International Studies. And if I may insert my opinion, its a pretty great center, as evidenced by BYU's numerous study abroad programs, internship programs, and field study programs. As many know, the original plan was to go to Bolivia. And in fact, of our small group of 12, 8 did go to Bolivia. The other 4 of us, including our field supervisor Cam Nelson, chose to do our internships with Freedom from Hunger, a non-profit organization who sent us to Peru to work with some of their partners down there. And that was what took up my time from May 12 to August 13. Anyone interested in details can, of course, go back and read previous entries in this very blog. Which you probably know, since if you're reading this, you probably read those entries.

I came back in August, and immediately picked my job back up with Wells Fargo Bank, for whom I had worked from April 2007 to May 2008. I was very fortunate to get my job back there, and it was great to jump right back in and start working for a few weeks before school started. I also spent time finding a new place to live in Provo, and chose it along with Matt Manwaring a good friend and roommate.

When school started, things didn't work out with Wells Fargo and I ended up needing to find different employment, which I found within a month with BYU, working at the Global Service Desk, which provided technical support to the Church; to leaders, employees, members, and non-members. I worked that job from the beginning of October to the last day of the year, and it was an interesting and beneficial experience. I won't say it was my favorite job ever...but it was suitable and again, beneficial to me.

More importantly, I continued my studies in my penultimate semester at BYU, and enjoyed a Historical-Comparative Linguistics class, a Spanish Literature class, a Statistics class, an intro class to Communication Disorders, a Church History class especially, and also a new semester in Men's Chorus. Along with work, this semester turned out to be a pretty busy one. The Linguistics class and the Spanish class obviously were for my major (oh, and I also took a government Oral Proficiency Exam in Spanish and scored an Advanced High, next only to Superior. I was pleased, and also recognize places for improvement), while the statistics class and ComD class were in preparation for doing a Master's Degree in Speech Pathology. More about that in the next post, I think. My Church History class was fantastically interesting, and I felt my testimony in Joseph Smith and the Church grow immensely. I gained a much deeper appreciation of our heritage as a Church.

As for my social/dating life throughout the year, I dated a couple of girls at the beginning of the year during Winter semester, although not too seriously. I definitely thought about getting more serious, but just couldn't find it in myself to truly want that. When it came to Peru, it was close-quarters with the two girls on my team, but we were asked as part of the rules to not date - either with people in our group or with native people of the countries we went to, even members. It may seem like a controlling rule, but there was a lot of benefit to just focus on what we went to to, as well as not have to deal with any cultural issues that might've surfaced. And anyway, our team was so busy and traveled so much that we were pretty distracted with what we were doing. The last four months of my year saw a good amount of dating. I found myself interested in a lot of girls, and in a lot of circles where I could get to know new people. I think I did a good amount of dating. In fact, I found myself more interested in a girl than I have been in a long time. Unfortunately, it turned out that she had recently gotten out of a relationship that had been going for a long time. However, it was still a good experience, and it was refreshing to feel that way. I continued pursuing other interests, and getting to know lots of people.

The year ended with some good time spent with my family at Christmas and New Year's.

And the new year began, with enrollment in my last semester of undergraduate study at BYU! Actually, there was some debate going on in my head at the beginning of the semester whether I'd really graduate, or whether I might postpone, but by now I've decided to go ahead and graduate. I'll go into more detail in that in my next post. For now, I've started the last semester with two Linguistics classes, Phonology/Morphology and Syntax, an Acoustic Physics class, a Persuasive Writing class (my last general!), Men's Chorus, and another Church History class that I felt inspired to take after my excellent experience in my previous one. I opted not to work this semester because of my schedule, and because of the many things I want to accomplish as I prepare to graduate. I feel it was the correct decision, and so far my semester has been going very well.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dating articles

I thought this was interesting. I had more to say about it when I read it a while back, but can't remember without reading it again, which I don't have time to do right at this moment. However, it was interesting.

The Demise of Dating:

Just for fun, I'm also posting the link to Elder Dallin H. Oaks' CES Fireside, "The Dedication of a Lifetime," the second half of which was oriented towards the topic of dating.,4945,538-1-3100-1,00.html

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Signs of the Times

As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe our leaders are inspired. I believe they see dangers before they are imminent, and I believe they have answers that will help us navigate the straits of our times.

In light of the recent political struggles, one of which being Prop 8, and of many battles that I expect will come, I thought that this message written by Neal A. Maxwell in 1979 (29 years ago) was very interesting and enlightening. Elder Maxwell was at the time a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and later became an Apostle of the Church. The message strengthens my testimony of the divine inspiration which they receive, and it is still quite relevant to us today. Following are excerpts, and the link to the message in full is found at the bottom:

Elder Neal A. Maxwell
Make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters, in the months and years ahead, events are likely to require each member to decide whether or not he will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions. (See 1 Kgs. 18:21.)

President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional or political life” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ!

We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

M. J. Sobran wrote recently:

“The Framers of the Constitution … forbade the Congress to make any law ‘respecting’ the establishment of religion, thus leaving the states free to do so (as several of them did); and they explicitly forbade the Congress to abridge ‘the free exercise’ of religion, thus giving actual religious observance a rhetorical emphasis that fully accords with the special concern we know they had for religion. It takes a special ingenuity to wring out of this a governmental indifference to religion, let alone an aggressive secularism. Yet there are those who insist that the First Amendment actually proscribes governmental partiality not only to any single religion, but to religion as such; so that tax exemption for churches is now thought to be unconstitutional. It is startling to consider that a clause clearly protecting religion can be construed as requiring that it be denied a status routinely granted to educational and charitable enterprises, which have no overt constitutional protection. Far from equalizing unbelief, secularism has succeeded in virtually establishing it. …

“What the secularists are increasingly demanding, in their disingenuous way, is that religious people, when they act politically, act only on secularist grounds. They are trying to equate acting on religion with establishing religion. And—I repeat—the consequence of such logic is really to establish secularism. It is in fact, to force the religious to internalize the major premise of secularism: that religion has no proper bearing on public affairs.” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 51–52, 60–61.)

Brothers and sisters, irreligion as the state religion would be the worst of all combinations. Its orthodoxy would be insistent and its inquisitors inevitable. Its paid ministry would be numerous beyond belief. Its Caesars would be insufferably condescending. Its majorities—when faced with clear alternatives—will make the Barabbas choice, as did a mob centuries ago when Pilate confronted them with the need to decide.

Your discipleship may see the time when such religious convictions are discounted. M. J. Sobran also said, “A religious conviction is now a second-class conviction, expected to step deferentially to the back of the secular bus, and not to get uppity about it” (Human Life Review, Summer 1978, pp. 58–59).

This new irreligious imperialism seeks to disallow certain opinions simply because those opinions grow out of religious convictions. Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened.

In its mildest form, irreligion will merely be condescending toward those who hold to traditional Judeo-Christian values. In its more harsh forms, as is always the case with those whose dogmatism is blinding, the secular church will do what it can to reduce the influence of those who still worry over standards such as those in the Ten Commandments. It is always such an easy step from dogmatism to unfair play—especially so when the dogmatists believe themselves to be dealing with primitive people who do not know what is best for them—the secular bureaucrats’ burden, you see.
If people, however, are not permitted to advocate, to assert, and to bring to bear, in every legitimate way, the opinions and views they hold which grow out of their religious convictions, what manner of men and women would we be?

Our founding fathers did not wish to have a state church established nor to have a particular religion favored by government. They wanted religion to be free to make its own way. But neither did they intend to have irreligion made into a favored state church.

Notice the terrible irony if this trend were to continue. When the secular church goes after its heretics, where are the sanctuaries? To what landfalls and Plymouth Rocks can future pilgrims go?
If the challenge of the secular church becomes very real, let us, as in all other relationships, be principled but pleasant. Let us be perceptive without being pompous. Let us have integrity and not write checks with our tongues which our conduct cannot cash.

Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.

There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself.

Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, “summer is nigh” (Matt. 24:32). Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat!
So should we regard the dispensation of the fulness of time—even when we face stern challenges and circumstances. “These are great days”! Our hearts need not fail us. We can be equal to our challenges, including the aforementioned challenge of the secular church!

This message seemed very pertinent to me. I couldn't help but feel that it was from an inspired man. Some may not like part of it, some may disagree very much. We are all certainly entitled to our opinions. Here, I share that I will align mine with men that I strongly believe are inspired by a Creator who I know to be a living, loving, personal God. We live in challenging times - I don't know how anybody could ever try to face them without the help of such a benevolent Being.

I pray God's blessings on all of you, my friends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My last week in Arequipa

Last Sunday night Chelsea and I boarded a bus and came back to Arequipa, and then spent two days working hard on a report for FONDESURCO. On Wednesday, I spent a good portion of the day translating the report for PRISMA, the first organization that we worked for. Cam Nelson wrote it in English, and I translated it into Spanish. After we finished with that, we finally let off some steam and spent some hours just relaxing. That is, if you can call trying to figure out how to buy tickets for everything in Cusco relaxing!

The major battle this week was obtaining train tickets from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, the small city in the valley below Machu Picchu, where all the tourists arrive and stay. There's only one train company, PeruRail. And so I spent some time looking at the times and prices online, and decided which days I wanted to go and return. So on Friday (9 days ago), click, click, click, enter personal information and #'s, click, click...denied. I'm not super surprised, my credit card wasn't accepted before when I tried to purchase bus tickets with a Peruvian bus company. So the two girls of our group each tried their credit and debit cards, and nothing. Then Carly e-mailed her dad, who was at the time still in the US, and he tried several cards to no avail. (I guess our American credit cards just aren't good enough for them?) So I did what any sensible person would do, and called customer service.

"Hello," I say, "I'm having trouble reserving and paying for my train tickets online, it won't accept my credit card."

"Oh, ok, let me help you with that."

"Thanks. I would like to reserve my tickets for two weeks from now, (etc., etc.)."

"I'm sorry sir, we don't make reservations on the phone."


"The only way to make reservations without buying your tickets online is by sending us an e-mail," she says.

"Ok, I guess I'll do that."

So I did. On Friday, 9 days ago. And since it is the high tourist season, (we sure planned that well...not. Next time you spend three months in Peru, don't choose to do your tourism in the same month that all the European tourists, as well as plenty of Americans, do theirs!) I decided to keep trying to reserve tickets another way in the meantime. Carly's dad arrived last weekend in Lima, and they went to the PeruRail office in Lima to try and reserve tickets. It turns out that the office in Lima is purely for freight and cargo, nothing for tourists. Chelsea and I, meanwhile, tried to visit the PeruRail office here in Arequipa. Yeah, you guessed it, it's only freight there as well. So where can you reserve tickets? Only in Cusco, of course! I mean, why on earth would tourists want to reserve their tickets any longer than a day or two before their journey, especially during high tourist season? Agh. So on Thursday, I called a number that the office here in Arequipa gave me to make reservations. Which happened to be the same number I called before.

"No, I'm sorry sir, we don't make reservations on the phone. You must send us an e-mail."

"I sent you an e-mail last Friday and you haven't responded. I'm worried that by the time you make me a reservation, there won't be any tickets available."

"The employee that reads the e-mails and makes the reservations only comes in every other day. Please wait until tomorrow, and if you still haven't received an e-mail, call us back."

"Uh, ok..." And then I'm thinking, "the only train company that services the, arguably, most well-known tourist site in all of South America only has one employee that receives the e-mails and makes reservations, even during the peak tourist season? I don't get it."

Well, later that afternoon, I finally got a confirmation e-mail. Yay! However, Chelsea did not, and I sent our requests in the same e-mail. That one is still a work in progress. Sometimes I just don't get the Peruvian systems...but whaddaya do?

The rest of the week we worked on this and that, and relaxed. On Friday, we received some great news from our supervisor at Freedom from Hunger that we should take whatever money we had left from the advances, which money we could only use for hotels and travel that had to do with the work, and apply the rest of it to personal expenses, as long as we recorded what we spent it on so that they knew where the expenses went. That was some fantastic news. After applying it to costs I had personally incurred, it turns out that I haven't had to pay for any hotels, any taxis or buses, or any of the internet booth costs from when I arrived in Peru to when I leave for Cusco to spend a week touring! That was a great blessing.

And on Saturday, Chelsea and I had another great blessing. We went out to lunch with one of the FONDESURCO workers that we got to know during our work, named David Álvarez. Chelsea had had a discussion or two about the Church with him before, and he came to church with us two weeks ago. While we ate lunch, we talked about several things, but we also talked about LDS beliefs for quite some time, probably an hour and a half. He is interested and curious, although not ready to think about converting. But he likes the ideas of eternal families, and he wants to come to church every week. A fortunate coincidence is that one of the members of the ward knew him back in high school, and we hope that that will provide some fellowship for him. He was going to come to church today, but in the end couldn't because of a family commitment. But it was an enjoyable discussion, and we've passed his information onto the member he knows, as well as the missionaries. We'll try to stay in contact with him.

Today we went to church and received several warm goodbyes from the members, as we told them that it was our last Sunday here in Arequipa. We've been fortunate enough to attend the same ward for 7 of the last 9 weeks. Chelsea and I watched a movie to help the afternoon pass a little more quickly, and then I repacked all of my things, and left at 9:45 pm to catch my bus to Cusco at 20:30 horas. You know...10:30 pm. Er...wait. You'd think that after thinking in 24 hour time since I've been in Peru, I would've caught that. However, I didn't - I looked at the time on the ticket earlier this week, thought it was 10:30 pm, and never looked again. So, lesson learned! Check your ticket and your military time calculations twice! I had to buy a whole new ticket, because the first was missed and wasted. They wouldn't apply any of the money I had already spent to the new ticket. Oh least they had one more ticket for tomorrow. It was really fortunate for me.

So now I'm back at the Hostal Ginza, where we've been every weekend for the past 7 weeks or so, and during the weekdays of two weeks as well. It's kind of like our pseudo-home, as they've become our friends here, and even gave us fridge space and kitchen privileges long ago. And tonight I'll sleep here for the last time...for the second time.

I'm looking forward to an interesting week in Cusco and Machu Picchu, and will, of course, send along a long-winded report on my experience afterwards!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


While reading my sister-in-law's blog, I was highly amused at some of the experiences that she wrote, and laughed pretty hard. As I commented on her blog, I started to say that it was the first good, hard laugh that I had had in a while, but realized that I actually had a pretty good laugh last Saturday as well, while watching Ice Age 2. So I thought that I'd write a post asking people to leave a comment with the last three times that they laughed hard, had a good belly laugh. I think it could serve as a good reminder to us all that we need to laugh often.

1. Today while reading about the adventures of my sister-in-law (usually having to do with her crazy, cute children) on her blog. I love my niece and nephew.
2. Last Saturday while watching Ice Age 2, in particular the scene when the sloth gets kidnapped by other colorful, mini sloths, and they imitate his every move before trying to sacrifice him. (By the way, what the heck does this have to do with the storyline? Oh well, it's my favorite part.)
3. Earlier that week when playing pranks on my fellow students, or while listening to my friend Cam Nelson try to speak to Delta representatives through a Skype phone connection in which they kept sending him to new representatives.

Ready, go.