The Y Ball

Thanks to a friend in our ward, we found out about one of BYU’s long standing traditions (for married or engaged students only)  The Y Ball! 

Turns out that this totally free event has been happening for years, (and without the “word of mouth” publicity that seems all to fleeting these days thanks to the powerhouses & convenience of social media) Thomas and I were able to go to this last night! 

We had a lovely night dining on 2 types of chicken, took pictures in what seemed to be an ode to old high school dances & then danced to all our favorite (& laughed at some of our not so favorite) tunes. 

If you missed out this past year, mark your calendars for next year. After 1.5 hours of dancing we were exhausted but we were oh so happy! 

  
    
   

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Being set free

When I had reached 2 decades of age I thought being reckless was more fun then keeping rules. I thought that being bound didn’t sound as much fun as living on the edge and doing what I wanted to do. I thought breaking rules would make me happier. 

Now before you get thinking I was a raging rule breaking lunatic, let me just clarify in saying my rule breaking consisted of walking in through clearly marked exit doors or speeding on the streets, or trying more than a few cups of samples at the frozen yogurt places. 

However, going on a mission to Hong Kong changed all that. I lived by the white handbook with exactness & found that I loved rules. I tried to find ways I could better keep the rules. My life for 19 months was the happiest it had ever been because I had willingly submitted my will on God’s alter. I was free to be happy, feel  joy and I felt free from guilt. Keeping the commandments was my ticket to this joyful life. 

The Lord commands us to go to his temples so that we can feel his spirit. As Carole M. Stephens shared in the last General Conference 

“God’s commandments are a manifestation of His love for us, and obedience to His commandments is an expression of our love for Him.”

This past week we crossed temple 2 off our list and enjoyed our Friday evening inside the beautiful Mount Timpanogos temple. 

Being inside the Lord’s house reiterates in my mind that when you do good, you feel good. 

•••Also- we are 1/8 of the way to reaching our goal to visit every temple in Utah•••

  
    
   

My Mother’s Deal

Here at BYU there are two goals for almost every student. Graduate and get married. Sometimes one comes before the other and other times they both don’t end up happening. It was pretty common for me to think that both were dreams would never become a reality. I was struggling to find out what to study and what types of things I was good at. Meanwhile I was coming out of an ending relationship and I was lost and starting to wonder what direction I wanted to go.

I spent a lot of time at my parents house trying to spend my time around people who lift me up and inspire me. I really needed to take control of my life. Then all of the sudden my mom sat me down to have a little chat. I sighed and knew exactly what the chat would be about…

She said, “Thomas I have a deal for you.”

I perked right up, was this actually not going to be a chat about dating? Was there something in this for me?

She continued, “Thomas I want you to go on 7 first dates before you go on a second date.”

“What!? That is going to take me like 5 months to do! I can’t do that!”

The whole time I was thinking what is in this for me? What is the catch? If there is a good reward I can manage to do this for a little bit.

I asked my mom what the reward would be and she told me she thought it would be a good experience for me to meet a lot of new people and learn what I wanted in my future spouse. I was frustrated that there was no catch I was hoping she would use some revelatory power being my mother to promise me that I would find my eternal companion through this process. But she didn’t. She just said that it would be a good experience.

So trying to be a good son I started on this journey. I began to be more social I started to think about what my strengths were. Optimism started to come back into my thoughts. I started to go on dates. I really was learning. I was finding things I liked and didn’t like. Date 1, Date 2, Date3, Date4, by the time I had date 4 I had really started to like getting to know Ashley! She was bright and wonderful she was exciting and funny and I really wanted to take her out on a date. I wanted to be strategic about it. Because I was sure I wanted to go on more dates than just one with Ashley!

In our singles ward at the time we had ward date nights. And lucky for me there were two coming up for consecutive weekends. That meant those dates would be #5&6 and then I would be at date 7 and be able to take Ashley on a second date (if all went well). The ward dates came and went and it was my time!

I made a promise to myself that the next time I saw Ashley I would go up and ask her out. So about the second week in February I was walking to class and saw Ashley walking down a hill towards a parking lot. I knew she didn’t see me but I also knew the promise I had made. I ran down the hill and started talking to her. I asked if she wanted to go to dinner and she said yes. Then I asked if she was available for Thursday night, she worked, Friday night, work again. Then I asked about Saturday night. It was February 14th I didn’t want it to be too cliche with it being Valentine’s Day and everything but she said it was perfect.

So I got a haircut, I washed my car, I bought a Valentine’s Day flower, and prepared for Saturday night. We went out and every moment of the date was so much fun! There was never a dull moment. I laughed more than I had in years. I had the best first date of my life. It was wonderful and we have seen each other every day since! Date after date I grew deeper and deeper in love. I knew what I was looking for because of the experiences I had had on the 7 first dates.

I know that honoring our parents is a commandment. I know that it is what God wants us to do! I have felt many blessings because of it.

President Russell M Nelson said, “My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils. We need each married sister to speak as “a contributing and fullpartner” as you unite with your husband in governing your family. Married or single, you sisters possess distinctive capabilities and special intuition you have received as gifts from God. We brethren cannot duplicate your unique influence.”

I’m so grateful for my mother and for her deal. I’m grateful for how it pushed me and how I learned to see what things I wanted. I found the love of my life! I am so grateful for my experiences and for where I am now. I love my wife Ashley and I’m so grateful for our relationship!

#1- The Provo Temple

With 2016 now upon us we decided to meet at our couch in the front room for some goal making. We wanted to make this year our best yet & we knew 2015 was going to be a tough act to follow.

Thomas inspiringly shared a PMG Chapter 8 favorite from M. Russell Ballard who said, “I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

If we wanted 2016 to be memorable and be better, we needed to take this advice and decide which focuses and which actions we wanted to have. Big things don’t just happen–they require work, sacrifice and planning.

  We started this week real close to our little house & went to the Provo Temple. We had a wonderful time and were reminded that being in the house of the Lord is one of the most important ways we can come closer to the Savior. We can come to know him better this year as we spend time doing the things he would do. 

   

We’re learning about Commitment

Our commitment to marriage manifests itself in simple ways like him taking the second (cold) shower, or me attending sporting events I’m not particularly passionate about. We read Harry Potter together and work side by side folding laundry because we are committed to something bigger than Gryffindor or Stance socks. We put time into our marriage because we know it’s an investment worth making.