Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Pretending to be responsible

Today, I was sitting in the library at school doing some accounting homework and got pretty upset. I had just missed a couple of points on a homework assignment I submitted electronically and I didn't know what I had done wrong, but I had botched something. Well, subsequent to submitting my assignment, I noticed on my class schedule that I was supposed to have read about ten more pages than I did. I was pretty mad when I found out because if I would've noticed it earlier I could've gotten a better grade on my homework. Anyway, that's not my point. My friend, Ian, walked up to me and pulled out his laptop and asked me if I wanted to play a game of risk with him before our class started. I'll admit that I was tempted to play, but I decided that I should probably just read my textbook so that I would be more prepared for class; but, it was pretty hard to just sit there next to him and read, when I knew that I could be the mastermind behind a winning strategy. Needless to say, I didn't read my book and I helped Ian win in a few short rounds. I really should've read, but I decided to Risk it. I had good intentions, though. However, they say the highway to hell is paved with good intentions, so maybe good intentions aren't the best thing.

The Slippery Slope
When I started thinking about it, I noticed that I pretend to be responsible a lot. It's a slippery slope that starts with something harmless, like consuming a lot of bite-size portions of brownies instead of tackling a big piece; or reading a book in bed; or taking your backpack up to the cabin; or leaving a note written with a pink florescent marker on a white piece of paper explaining where you went; or having your laptop out to write a paper while you watch a movie; then there's getting a salad at an all-you-can-eat buffet; getting the Café Rio salad with a light dressing; ordering a small drink and then getting unlimited refills; or doing laundry at Cole's house while you play NCAA football and Tony Hawk for a few hours—just to name a few. There are many forms of pretending to be responsible. Which form are you?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Called to Serve

Well, that scary time has come. As of today, I've officially been home from my mission for a year. It's crazy to me how fast time has flown. It seems like just yesterday that I opened up my mission call to serve in the Canada Toronto East Mission. When I actually served it often felt like I had been there for a long time. I think it's because I was doing so much; but, then I would look back and think, "I haven't really been here for a year have I?" Then the second year seemed to go by faster than the first. I still remember the beginning of January 2007 when I found out my release date was February 2nd. I told President Callister that I was willing to stay for longer if he needed me to. "That would be wonderful!" he said, and we promptly went out of his office and arranged everything with Sister Saxton. I was given my new return date of February 24th. I felt like a medical patient that was told by his doctor, "Well, it looks like this is still going to finish you off, but the good news is you've got another three weeks!"

How it felt
The whole idea of leaving my mission was so surreal. I loved my mission. I remember that I had cried before leaving each of my areas, but it wasn't really hitting me that I was leaving. People would ask me what it felt like to be going home, but I didn't know what to say because I didn't think was leaving. It didn't seems real. Sometimes it didn't feel like I even had a family. It felt like I had just written them e-mails my whole life and I'd always been a missionary in Toronto. But, the day finally came. President and Sister Callister dropped me off at the airport. I was the only missionary leaving that day. I remember finding out that my plane was delayed so I wouldn't make it back home until about five hours after I was supposed to arrive. I hugged President and Sister Callister goodbye and tried to take everything in. I had been blessed so much on my mission and I had truly seen the Lord work miracles in my life and in the lives of others. I had truly learned to love others and I had learned how to pray and how to receive answers to prayer. I felt a sea of different emotions. I was grateful, and I was happy. I felt that I had served an honorable mission and that I had worked hard. But, at the same time, I felt as though I were leaving everything I knew and loved behind. They were the feelings that we all experience during seasons of change. But they'd never felt that strong before. I didn't think it was hard at all to leave for my mission, but I was so sad to leave from it.

Looking Back
As I look back now, I truly can say that I've thought of my mission every day since last February 24th. It has impacted me in so many ways. My testimony grew so much on my mission and has continued to grow since that time. I can think of many blessings that have come to me as a direct result of serving a faithful mission and there have been times that I have seen indirect blessings as a result of serving my mission. I remember someone saying in a sacrament meeting soon after my mission that the Lord would never forget the service that I had done for Him. I think that it is true. No good deed goes unnoticed. I have felt of the Savior's love since that time and have felt of the power of His infinite atonement in my life. I know the Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He lives. He is the living God and will deliver all things unto the Father of All. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to the boy prophet, Joseph Smith, in the Sacred Grove. I know that Joseph was called to restore truth in this, the dispensation of the fullness of times. I am grateful for the organization of the Church and the pure doctrines that we are able to learn from the living prophet and apostles. I know that God has spoken, that He speaks, and that He will continue to speak through His prophets, seers, and revelators; for, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I am grateful for the power of prayer, for the scriptures, and for the blessings that are offered to us in the House of the Lord. I testify that the Plan of Salvation is real and that through Jesus Christ we can be saved. I have learned this through studying the Bible and the Book of Mormon and through feeling the Spirit bear witness to my spirit that these things are true. I have both felt and borne pure testimony by the Power of the Holy Ghost and know that the words of the prophets must come to pass. "Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may known that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise" (2 Nephi 2:6-8). I was able to teach these things and more on my mission. I was able to truly understand these things, for the first time in my life. I wouldn't trade my mission for all the wealth of the world, because I have what money can't buy. "Remember that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God; for, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and ocme unto him. And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance. And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth. Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!" (D&C 18:10-16)

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Nastiness of Garbage Can Warmth

So, I decided that I have a new pet peeve. I think it all started the other day during my break at work when I threw something in the garbage and I felt a steady heat emanating from the bin. I cringed and quickly pulled my hand away from presence of the exothermic reaction. Yes, there was something disturbing about the heat that still irks me every time I walk past the garbage can. I'm scared to push open the garbage flap because I'm scared that I'll feel the nastiness again. Feeling the heat of the garbage reminded me of walking Roma Downey's dog and seeing steam emit from the dog poop after it would do its business. It's just...nasty!

Sloppy Seconds

Sick! Stop using my razor!
Alright, I think I need to set up a Mach trial with my roommates to see who's been using my razor. The first time was a few months ago when it looked like someone had shaved their back or happy trail and hadn't rinsed out my razor head. Yeah, *dry heave* I know. That forced me to discard the razor head (which is not cheap, by the way! Just ask my mom. She buys them). So, I thought I was rid of the razorous villain, but alas, not so! I will often go into the washroom and I'll notice that someone's been pilfering all my hygienic goods: toothpaste, shaving cream, rash medication (that one's a joke...kind of...). It's not so bad, anymore because I've started hiding stuff. I do feel like putting itching powder on something, though, just to see who it is (kind of like how banks dye money to catch crooks). Then I could say with confidence to my robber roommate, "Thou fool! Thou hast made a rash decision!" We'll see...

Still, though, the pirating of pastes and the bilking of Barbasol I can handle. What I didn't tell you is that someone has been using my razor—AGAIN!!!!! "And behold I was exceedingly wroth" (Bob 1:14). I think I just need to get a razor head with dried blood and pus on it and I'll just switch it out each time I finish shaving so my roommate can have a dry heave of his own. Maybe then he'll think twice about the inappropriate misappropriation of my razor.

So, in accordance with my anger, I have made a Who Done It? Wheel. I'll let yous* decide.


*yous is the eastern Ontario equivalent of the plural form of you, as in "a group of you," or y'all, as in "all y'all wanna stayfer supper?"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Secret Blogging

Dear Reader, this is the first blog entry of my life. I never thought I would succumb to the wiles of blogging, but here I am. I figure that since I'll have some extra free time and I don't write daily e-mails anymore (as of last last week) that I'll need a way to document my life. And so it goes...

About Me
My name is Bobby LeBaron. I'm currently studying accounting at Brigham Young University. But, hey! Don't be so hasty! Just because I'm studying accounting doesn't automatically mean I'm boring. However, I will say that the lame accounting equation situated next to the man that cut down the cherry tree does provide compelling evidence. "If he's not really a nerd, why would he put the accounting equation on his blog? Weird." See, that's the thing...at the moment, nothing comes to mind... Anyway, the important thing to remember is that I'm the only unmarried one in my family and I'm 22. And I love Fritos. And weird candy (ie: gummy insects, sour worms and Bug City). Hmmm...let's see, what else? Oh yeah, I have a huge head. Yeah, it's pretty much been the same size since I was an infant. My mom had to have a C-section because my head was so big. That's not really why, but I'd believe it if I didn't know any better. And that pretty much sums it up. So, aside from all that, the bits and pieces of my life you should already know if you're reading this. If you don't, then you should probably ask me. I'm not going to write an autobiography right now. I will however continue to write the happenings of my life in e-mail form, as though you were my good friend. I know who I'll really be writing to, though. Chances are, it's probably not you. You can still read, though.

Alright, but seriously, I've gotta go do some homework. I may get back to you today, I may not. I'll try, but no promises.

P.S. I probably should've just told you from the get-go that I'm studying advertising, too. Advertising sounds a lot more attractive than accounting. But, anyway, I'll graduate next year if I don't get into the MAcc program at BYU. If I do, I'll graduate in April 2010. My brother always tells me to stop trying to get a million degrees, but I see them as degrees of freedom. If you never took a statistics class you probably don't get that joke. If you did happen to take a statistics class you're probably not laughing anyway because it wasn't funny.