Sunday, October 30, 2011


Deep down I believe it is a universal truth that everyone wants to be happy.  In fact, the pursuit of happiness is listed as an unalienable-right in the Declaration of Independence.  Not as universal is the way we attempt to pursue that happiness, and it is truly a pursuit.

Too many of us are not happy in having something, but having more of it than someone else.  Instead of reaching to new heights, they are busy putting others down.  They look forward to something in the future, when I can drive I'll be happy, when I can date I'll be happy, when I'm in college, when I graduate, when I'm married, when I can retire, the list goes on and on.

Happiness is not a destination, but a way of life.  Somebody will always have more than you, and while you are busy putting others down, you will never be able to look up and enjoy the view at the top.  The time to be happy is now.

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today. -James Dean

So are you happy yet?  Wouldn't it be nice if it were that easy?  Like I said earlier, happiness is truly a pursuit.  It takes work, and it takes a different way of thinking.

The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.

I first thing I have found is that the times I am happiest are not when I am comparing myself to others, but when I am serving them.  When I am trying to make someone else's day, mine instantly becomes better.  It is the times I am helping pull someone up, not putting them down, that are the most rewarding.  The view from the top is a lot more fun when you have someone to share it with.

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day. -E.B. White

The second thing is to have an attitude of gratitude.  Instead of always wanting more, are we grateful for what we already have?  We are SO blessed!  If we really stop to think about it, we have so much.  The following videos can portray my thoughts much better than I could ever write them.

As we strive to follow these two simple things, service and gratitude, we will be well on our way to pursuing happiness.  The road will not always be easy, there will be roadblocks, traffic jams, crashes, and many other obstacles. But as we focus on what we can control, and make the best of it, we will find ourselves much further along the path than we ever imagined.

There are always two choices, two paths to take.  One is easy, and that is its only reward.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mr. Quarterback

I stepped onto the cold, muddy field.  Puddles had begun to form, I could see my breath.  People who could not normally care less turned their eyes toward the football field.  I heard my name being called out, there was a frenzy that had rarely been seen before.

I had arrived, Mr. Quarterback, it had a nice ring to it.  But I didn't have time to dwell, the time was now!  Game clock started, it was the first play.  I yelled orders to my team.  Hike!  It was like a roar, a battle-cry coming from my lips.  My team began to run their routes, the other team was rushing.  I scrambled, narrowly avoided their grasp, set my feet and let it fly.

The ball spiraled toward the end-zone in a way that would have made David of old, and his slingshot, proud.  I heard a collective gasp, they had never seen such a pass, TOUCHDOWN!

The crowd wanted more, there was no way they were going to let me leave the field.  All-time QB they pleaded.  I graciously accepted. I began to lead the opposing team down the field.  Slants, posts, even running it a time or two, another touchdown!

In the space of 15 minutes I had 8 touchdown passes, and 1 rushing touchdown.  Then the bell rang and recess was over.  We lined up and went inside, but the mud on our shoes, and each squishy step they made, reminded us of the magic we felt that day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Am Still Alive

It has been a while since the last time I blogged.  In that time I was able to do something I had always wanted to do, go skydiving.

How many people say they would love to do something like this, and then how many actually do it?  When I was given the opportunity I had to take it.  My brother sent me a message saying he knew some people that were going, and wondered if I was interested.  I sat there for about five seconds, and then I said yes and never looked back.  In those five seconds I discovered that it is a lot easier to say you want to do something, than to actually do it.

I was so excited, but it never quite felt real.  I figured the second I stepped out on to the edge of the plane I would get freaked out, but even that didn't scare me.  It was the thrill of a lifetime!  The closest way I can describe it would be sticking your head out a car window driving 120 mph.  Except it's your whole body, and instead of cars passing by you get to see the earth get closer and closer.

It was a free-fall for about a minute.  Then we pulled the parachute and got to float around for a couple of minutes.  I would do it again in a second.  Just getting to fly around in the little plane and see the beautiful Utah landscape and mountains was beautiful.

We didn't get any good pictures of us actually in the air, but here is a picture of four of us pre-jump.

Since then I have also done a few other things I have always wanted to do.  I bought my very own bowling ball, and look forward to getting it this week!  In my excitement I bowled my first over 200 game on Friday.  I got six strikes in a row to start, and ended up with a score of 215.

Who knows what I will do next?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Best of Utah on Twitter

Several people have asked me what I do during the summer when school is out.  Well first of all, I've been to school 4 out of 5 days this week.  I have also done a much better job of exercising, and plan to finally get some work done in my yard.

Besides all of these things, and some good old fashioned time wasting, I started a new blog.  This blog began with a hunger, I wanted a burger.  So I thought I would use Twitter to help me decide the best burger around. The only requirements was they had to be on Twitter, and they had to be within driving distance.  It ended up being a lot of fun and I got a really good response.  So I posted my results on a blog, and I want to make it a weekly thing.

It would really help me out if you would go there, comment, and click follow.  I would like it to look more official, I kind of threw it together really quickly today, but it has possibilities.  In less then 12 hours I have already had over 50 views.  Now if I can get follows, +1's and comments I may be in business.

The website is

Thank you!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Last Days

The last week of school is always bittersweet.  Having time off is never a bad thing, but you have gotten so close, and care so much about your students.  Several of my students didn't want to leave the last two days, many told me I was their favorite teacher.  I know they say that every year, and they should, your current teacher should always be your favorite, but it still feels really good to hear it.  Here are a few of the notes I got today:

Dear Mr. Horan, Thank you for always being there for me.  Thank you for helping me understand my math.  I will miss you.  You were my favorite teacher.  When I'm in 5th grade I'll try to come and visit you every day.  You are the best!

Dear Mr. Horan you are a really great teacher I hope you had a good year, I did.  You really made me feel special.  I hope (my sister) gets you.  (Then her mom gave me a phone number of a girl she wants me to ask out)

Mr. Horan You are the best teacher I have had, besause all my other teachers did not make sense.  You made me feel welcome, you helped me with math so I would get it, and you are AWESOME!!  Go Jazz!

Thank U for being my 4th Grade teacher!  U were the best teacher I've ever had!

Dear Mr. Horan Thank you for being such a nice Teacher.  You the best teacher I've had yet.  I will miss you dureing the summer.  I hope I'm one of your fav. students I tryed to be the best.

Dear Mr. Horan - Thanks for making 4th grade the best at freedom.  You are a fun teacher.  I hope you find a lovely women to hang out with.  Your the best!

Thanks for a GREAT PERFECT year!  Your the Best teacher EVER!  Mr. Horan, You are a great teacher!  You have been my favorite!  I am going to miss you!  The journal I gave you is for you to record what you did this summer!  Thanks for a GREAT year!  (She then gave me this awesome notebook that she had decorated the cover and labeled for me to write about the things I did this summer. They even gave me a list of some fun ideas, very clever and thoughtful!)

I did try really hard to make every child feel special and that they were one of my favorites.  Hopefully they felt that, because I really did care about them.  I started and ended the year reading a book called You Are Special, and these wonderful children will always have a special place in my heart.  I had a lot of favorites, and it's good to see that they not only saw that I cared about them, but they cared about me.  Hopefully I find that lovely women to hang out with this summer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

If I Was the Computer Teacher

As a teacher who uses and loves technology, I have been blessed with a really great opportunity to have a positive impact on not only my class, but my entire school.  Our computer teacher is retiring and our principal wants my help, along with two others from my school, to create yearlong outlines for the new teacher.  These plans will be for each of the grades at our school, K-6.

I know there are some things I would love, as a 4th grade teacher, for my students to learn in computers, then I can take it, run with it, and apply it to my curriculum.  I also know that I do not know everything, or what other teachers may want.  (I will ask the teachers at my school this as well) The new computer teacher will obviously have the freedom to do their job, and not be imprisoned by our general guidelines and ideas.

Because I want to do this right, and because I have such a knowledgeable PLN, I want your help!  Are you a technology specialist, teacher, administrator, who has seen anything specific work really well?  What are some of the crucial aspects you would include?

A little info on our school:  We have 1,200 students.  They each get to go to computers, in our computer lab, for half an hour once a week.  Besides our computer lab, our 6th grade classes are 1:1 with laptops, 4th and 5th are 2:1, and 1st-3rd each have one class set of laptops between the 5-6 classes in their grade.  We have the iLife programs in our computer lab as well as all of the classroom sets.

Another side issue, we got an amazing grant to get all of these laptops several years ago.  They are now 3-4 years old, the batteries won't hold charges, and many teachers have decided it is not worth the hassle to use them often.  We are looking into this as well, but really this is just for ideas for our computer teacher to use in the computer lab, that has nice brand new computers.

So if you were able to make a positive technological impact for 1,200 students, what are some of the things you would include?  If you know somebody who could help, please send them this link.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Twitter?

Some of you know that I am a big fan of Twitter.  I have tried explaining to several people, why I think it is so great.  It is pretty simple, yet complicated.  So I am going to attempt to give you the basics of why it really works for me and I think it could for you.

First: You only see what you want to see.
One of the big complaints I hear from people is, I don't want to hear what people had for breakfast.  Well that is the great thing about Twitter, if you don't like what someone is saying unfollow them.  Unlike Facebook, you do not have to follow who is following you.  If someone is annoying and posts 100 things about cats, don't follow them!  You should never have anything show up in your Twitter feed that does not interest you, if you do, then it's your own fault.

I follow 33 people that do not follow me back, mostly celebrities, companies, or sports.  Some examples are @stephenathome (Stephen Colbert), @BillCosby, @RealSaltLake, @alyankovic, @rainnwilson and people like that.  I actually began twitter to keep up with Deron Williams during the off-season because I needed my Jazz fix.  Due to the nature of many people on Twitter following these people that will not follow them back, 93% of people on Twitter follow more people than follow them back.

Some new people to Twitter make it their goal to get as many followers as possible, but I just worry about getting what I want out of it.  I am myself, share what I care about, and people find me. If I look at what they have been tweeting about, and find it interesting, I follow them back, if not I don't.  If I follow them and I decide I am not interested in what they have to say, I stop following them.  Somehow, people seem to like what I have to say, I have often had people on Facebook say that they love what I post, or that I make them laugh.  Well, you would love me even more on twitter, at least 495 people seem to think so, even without me following back 287 of them.

Second: Great source for news.
Some people on Twitter don't ever use it to post a single thing of their own, they use it solely to get news and information.  It is becoming more and more of a legitimate news source, many things break first on Twitter. You do have to be careful what you believe, and check your sources, but it is where I found out last week that President Obama was going to be making a big announcement. I turned on my TV, but first heard that we had killed Osama Bin Laden on Twitter before they ever mentioned anything about him on the air.

Third: Helps me find people with similar interests, and in my professions.
I have developed a really good PLN (Professional Learning Network) with amazing educators.  Every Monday a group of 4th grade teachers and I get together from around the country, and even around the world, to discuss an educational topic.  I have gotten much more out of this than I get from talking only to teachers at my school.  I have gotten a lot of good ideas and tried them with my class. I never would have thought of some of the things they are doing.

Every Tuesday there is a similar thing, but for all people involved in education, and throughout the week there are also discussions on gifted and talented students, educational technology, new teachers, science, history, coaching, and many other chats on education.  (To really get a lot out of a chat or conference, I would recommend downloading TweetDeck.  It is also the only way I can access Twitter at work since Twitter got blocked in the middle of the year.  I have a class Twitter account where I post their daily homework everyday, and that made it harder, but several of my parents have really loved being able to follow our class on Twitter.)

A few weeks ago, another educator posted an article about how you can use an iPad to turn your computer and projector into an interactive whiteboard.  I researched it more and went to my principal to tell him it was something I was interested in.  Because of my research and interest, he is letting me get one and play around with it this summer.  Then next year, if we see success, we can get some for other teachers and I can train them on it.  When I prove that I can implement this, hopefully he can continue to have trust in me, and I can try some of my other ideas.  But without Twitter, I never would have discovered this.

Fourth: It's fun and you can connect with amazing people.
So you don't care about celebrities/sports/entertainment, you find out about news just fine, you don't think you could learn anything new about your profession/interests, then there is still plenty to enjoy.  Since everyone I follow has at least one similar interest with me, mostly Utah Jazz, Education, the LDS church, or something else along those lines, it is really easy to talk and make friends.  Since the only places I can meet people are at my elementary school, and church, it does not leave me many opportunities.

Now I have a whole network of people I can do things with, or at least talk about them with.  Last month there was a big religious conference in Utah and I was tweeting a bunch of quotes as I was listening.  This helped me pay attention, but I also made about 100 new LDS friends.  A few people disagreed with me in doing this, but remember, I am not spamming people, they choose to read what I write and can stop at anytime.  In fact only one person unfollowed me over that weekend, which is pretty normal, I have had 7 people unfollow me in the past week.  It is very normal for people to come and go.  In fact I unfollow most of the sports people this time of year because I don't want to hear them talking about baseball, I will follow them again in the Fall.

Because of these new friends I made, this past weekend I was planning on going to the local theme park Lagoon.  Neither of my roommates were interested in going, so I invited a few of my other friends and mentioned it to some people on twitter.  A couple of them were interested so we met up and had a great time.  I never would have made these new friends without Twitter.

They say you are not true friends until you are Facebook friends, but you also aren't going to make any new friends on Facebook.  Obviously, some people aren't looking to make new friends or meet strangers, heck I still find it slightly weird, but at this point in my life, finding new friends is something I need help doing.

In fact, that is really the main reason I love Twitter.  You can get whatever you want out of it, and you get what you put into it.  I like finding news, making friends, expanding my personal and professional networks, and being able to keep up on all the crazy random stuff as well.  It fits my needs perfectly, I want to be a better teacher, I want to meet new people, I love sports, I need an outlet and people to connect to.  You may need or want none of these things, and yet Twitter can help you with your interests and goals as well.  I can't tell you how to make it yours, but I have made it mine and I LOVE it!

This is the short, sorry it was kind of long still, version of why I love Twitter.  You don't have to give it a try, but at least now you can understand a little bit more why it works for me.  If you decide to give it a try, and want to follow me, my screen-name is @downrightdave

One Additional Reason:
P.S. Another thing I love is quick feedback.  5 minutes ago I posted: I'm blogging about why I love Twitter, what do you love most about it?  I have gotten over 10 responses, try getting that on Facebook.  I will list them below and add any later in the comments section.

(For those of you not used to Twitter, if you respond to someone, like me, you put @downrightdave then your message.  Only people following you and the person you are responding to will see your conversation.  So I could have a conversation with one of my friends and it wouldn't bother anyone but our friends, I still wouldn't encourage it though, it is one of my pet peeves to have friends that try to have a full length conversation on Twitter, use chat, text, phone, or "gasp" actually go talk to them in person.)

From @Sceryth: @downrightdave I can communicate quickly with others, and it's a great source for all sorts of news and inspiration.

@JDanielRollins: @downrightdave I love that I'm able to interact with people that I normally wouldn't, being a convert, I've enjoyed meeting a lot of Mormons.

@Mark_JHS: @downrightdave Follow favorite sports teams; #NJDevils #Rockies, #UtahJazz, news alerts, & sharing with fellow educators @Coachbulldog.

A Denver Post writer agreed with him and reposted or as we say retweeted (RT) Mark_JHS's message from their account @rockiestweeters.  How cool that we have a newspaper involved in this conversation!

@ladyozma: @downrightdave I get more "conversation" on twitter than on my blog :)

@grouchyteacher: @downrightdave twitter has saved my sanity since G was diagnosed w/ #diabetes.  He is the only kid in our school with it and finding other moms online has made it not so lonely.

@ladyozma then responded to her and said: I can see that, I wish I'd had twitter when Cameron was diagnosed w/cancer back in 01. Hospital stays crazy makes.

@kyfrancik: @downrightdave Connected me with many great thinkers about education - great PD tool - leading me in thinking about my guidance of students.

@redcherries22: @downrightdave networking and winning contests + getting feedback & questions answered.

@RyBen3: @downrightdave because you can learn so much from other people's opinions & fast news in 140 char.

@cspokey: @downrightdave twitter has probably saved my life.

So there you have it, why twitter?  Why not?  I have a lot more I could say, but this should do it for tonight.  If you have something you love, hate, or a question you have about Twitter, please add it in the comments section.

P.P.S. I will not be at all offended if you never join Twitter, it's not for everybody, and just like I said, you get what you want out of it, and if you don't want anything out of it, then that is perfectly fine.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Vote Fictionist

A local band called Fictionist is currently in a competition to be on the cover of The Rolling Stone.  It is a big deal and really awesome to have a local band getting the recognition they have.  I have now seen them three times in concert and every time I like them a little bit more.  My friends made up some fliers to pass out at a recent concert on how to vote for them.  In the process of passing them out, we tried to hand them to some of the parents of the band members.  They told us they already voted everyday and thanked us for all we were doing to help.  

We were also able to meet the lead singer and bass player. They were so down to earth, humble and appreciative of their fans and all the votes they have been getting.  It was in getting to meet them that I really came to appreciate them and their music.  They are good people trying to live the dream, and doing a great job of it, I might add.  Even Donny Osmond is on the bandwagon trying to get people to vote for them.

So if you won't listen to me, listen to him.  Just go to this website, rate them 5 stars, and for your efforts you are also welcome to download 4 of their songs for free.  Help support local music!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Teacher appreciation comes at a great time of the year, we start testing next week and teachers are trying to squeeze everything in, or review what we have done the past 8 months, all in one week.  The weather is getting nice outside and we would all rather be there than inside.  Summer is fast approaching and some wish it could just get here already.  Classroom management begins to get harder than it has all year and trying to keep everyone motivated can be a bit of a struggle, especially once the tests are over, and two weeks of school remain. 

Amidst all of this craziness comes a little breath of fresh air, teacher appreciation.  I think my class was the most difficult it has been all year, but at least at the end of the day I can feel like my efforts, stress, and countless hours of work have meant something.  Here are a few sections from some of the notes I got:

You are the best teacher that I could ever have.  Your great at teaching, you make me happy all the time.

Your the best teacher ever!  How did you get so nice?  I'm doing way better on my grades.  This is a graph of my tests.  (Then she drew a great bar graph with labels and everything)

Thank you for everything you have done!  You are so nice, and helpful!  Your the kind of teacher any one would want to have!  I will always remember you as the best teacher ever!

Thank you so much for being there for us!  Your the best teacher ever!

Thank you for helping us and being there for us.  I hope your necked (next?) class will be nice to you and be awesome.  You rock! and you have done a lot for me.  I will miss you when I am in 5th grade.  I loved being in your class and I hope (my brother) will be in your class.  You rock at teachin and I rilly rilly rilly like you!!!!

Thank you for being the best teacher.  You taught us the great stuff

Thanx for Helping us learn! We appriciate the hard work for us! and we Have Hade a lot of FUN!!!

Thank you for being a great teacher.  Thank you for helping me when I need it.

You are a good teacher!  Now I have a poem for you.
O so cool
Really good
No bad in you.

These are 4 things I love best about you!
1: Your laugh
2: Your fun activitys
3: You letting us organize the room
4: And espesially your dancing!

There were more, mostly saying, You Rock!, and stuff like that.  I know they probably tell their teacher every year that they are their favorite, and they will say the same thing next year, but it still feels good.  Plus, you should always love your current teacher the best.  Hopefully tests will go well the next two weeks and I will have lived up to the goals I had for me and my class this year.  Every year I want to be the best teacher I can and continue to improve.  I am not the best teacher, but today they made me feel more that way.  (Looks like I need to do a lesson on your though for a few of them)

Saturday, April 23, 2011


It was Friday and I was sitting in class talking to my aid that comes and helps me an hour a day.  The kids were all in specialty so it was just the two of us.  A parent walked in with a box of cookies that were for grandparents day that afternoon.

The parent addressed the aid and asked if she was subbing today,  she replied no. Then the parent said, OK can you give these to the sub then?  My aid looked over at me and said, this is Mr. Horan right here...

The story isn't over, as the parent quickly started to walk out feeling a little embarrassed she stopped and turned around.  She informed me that on Hero Day her son told her that he wanted to dress up like Mr. Horan.  She told him that may not be a good idea, since I wasn't his teacher and it might make her feel bad, especially since they hadn't had the greatest relationship this year.  So she wanted me to know that I was her son's hero.

So do I feel like an honored hero, or someone who just got called out for looking like a student in their own 4th grade classroom?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Another Journal

I started a journal online today.  I decided that I would also post what I wrote on here, most of the time it's going to be just for me.  So here is a glimpse into what my journal(s) look like:

I have so many journals, some have been lost forever.  I kept one on my computer for a while and my hard drive crashed and I lost it all.  I thought maybe it's time to keep a journal on line instead.

I don't really have that much to say.  It seems like the days I decide it is time to journal are when I feel a desire to better myself.  For some reason writing in a journal signifies to me that I am trying to improve.  It could be because the best period of my life, at keeping a journal, was when I was serving a mission.  As a missionary I was easily my best self, completely humble, full of service, feasting on Christ's words, and trying to share the joy that is has brought me with everyone I came in contact with.

Or possibly writing in a journal is due to reflection getting ingrained in me through the education program.  It seemed like everything we did we had to write a reflection paper on it.  I lay in bed at night and think about how things went, I get in the shower in the morning and run through my day.  Reflection is a part of who I am, and I feel that you get the most out of it when you write it down.

Sometimes I am quiet, I don't usually talk just to talk, unless I feel I have something beneficial to say I don't say much.  Some of my friends may disagree, but that is when something is going on that I am really passionate about, then maybe I talk too much.  Most of the time I prefer to keep my comments to myself and to keep my ideas in my head. 

During college I worked at the testing center and 1/4th of my shift I had to sit or walk around the testing rooms.  It gave me time to get away from the noise and hustle of the world and to really be introspective.  Sometimes I need those moments, now I usually get them from going running or on walks.  Lately my legs have been hurting me and I haven't had that outlet either.

So here we are, another journal.  This one won't be lost, that is unless something happens to the world wide web.  Here's to hoping the introspection and reflection leads me to be my best self.

This part isn't in my journal, but what are some things that help you get the most out of a journal?  Do you have any success stories?  How has keeping a journal blessed you in your life?  Maybe it's time you get back to your journal as well, find something that works for you, you won't regret it!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Jazz Season Review

This was a crazy season, it is the first in my memory that we have not made the playoffs.  (I was on my mission during the 2003-2005 seasons.) Along with not making the playoffs, we had a mid-season trade, and had a coaching change. Normal teams go through stuff like this, but the Jazz have never been a normal team.

One thing I always loved about the Jazz was that they played as a team.  Players would come here and have the best years of their career. Most players, after leaving, never did as well.  Even with two hall-of-fame players, it was never about them, but the team, the system, the organization.

When the year began everyone knew this was Deron Williams team, and we were OK with that.  He was the best PG in the NBA and was going to lead us to victory.  We had some amazing comeback victories, all was well.

Unfortunately, for the first time it didn't seem like a team anymore.  In a close game we would give the ball to Williams and look at him and say, OK, win this game for us.  Several times he did, sometimes he didn't.  We began to play more 1 on 1, plays got broken, there was not as much passing or movement.  The potential and talent seemed like it was still there, but something wasn't right.  It was frustrating to watch the players look so disinterested when I had seen so much more from them this season.

I could tell Sloan was frustrated, when you have seen something work for 20+ years, and your team is refusing to listen to you, who wouldn't?  I have watched the Jazz system in action my whole life, and this wasn't it.

Williams was frustrated as well, instead of leading by example or explaining/coaching the new players, he always seemed angry and demanding.  Hayward got out of position once and ended up scoring, but was yelled at the entire way down the floor and into the timeout.  This was not the Jazz I grew up watching, it was no longer fun.

Sloan had always said when it stopped being fun he may just wake up one morning and call it good.  Well it happened, and like always, he was true to his word.  You can point fingers, but what's the point?  I will always remember Jerry as someone who expected 100% from himself and his players, nothing less.  If you were willing to work hard, you were rewarded.  He got more out of his players than anyone else I have ever seen.  He was always willing to accept the blame when the team was losing, and willing to give the accolades to his players when they were winning.  He was humble, hard working, and a great example of a leader.  He was not perfect, but he never claimed to be.  It was a big loss when he retired, to the team, and the NBA as a whole.

Now, even more, this was Williams team.  If there had been pressure on him before, there was even more now. He was playing injured, being accused as a coach killer, and the team continued to spiral downward.

Then word came, Williams was traded.  I thought losing my favorite player since Stockton and Malone would be heartbreaking, but it was a relief.  I would liken it to a breakup where you thought things were great, but once it's over you feel such a burden lifted.  We would most likely have lost him for nothing, and now I don't have to hate him for leaving us as a free agent.  I hope the best for him and that it can work out better for both of us.  This is a mutual breakup.

In return for Williams the Jazz received a one time all-star PG in Harris, and Favors who had been taken third in the draft.  Favors was a player the Jazz tried hard to move up to be able to get.  The Jazz also received two draft picks and $3 million dollars.  I was excited for the future, but the future was all that there was to be excited for.  With all the new players, new coaches, we had to come up with a lot on the fly.  When most teams were coming into their own, we were trying to establish any kind of identity.

The final few weeks of the season showed us what can be.  We had wins over three playoff teams the last week of the season.  We beat the Lakers in LA, the Hornets, and the Nuggets.  The first two of those games were ones that those teams needed to try and move up in the playoff standings.  Favors and Hayward showed that they will be important pieces of this team for years to come.  It's a weird feeling to have the playoffs start, and not have the Jazz be a part of it.  But, I find myself more excited than I have all year for what is to come.

Soon the NBA draft will be here and we will add another two lottery picks to our team.  If we can stay healthy (I feel like I say this every year), we should be a very competitive team as soon as next year.  How many teams have rebuilt as quickly and well as the Utah Jazz?  We are still a piece or two away, but I feel privileged to be a fan of this team.  Once a Jazz fan, always a Jazz fan.  Because that's the great thing about this team, it's more than a player, or coach, it's a team.  And I'm proud to call it my team.  Go Jazz!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I got fat

Once upon a time I was about to leave for a mission.  At this time I weighed 150 pounds, during my mission I had one area that I put on a lot of weight.  Since I never had a scale I have no idea how heavy I got, but it wasn't pretty.  In my last area my companion and I both enjoyed running so several times a week we would wake up early and run about 4 miles.  When I got home I was 155 and had lost most of the weight I had gained and came back with a love for running.

During this discovery I also learned that I like to push myself and sometimes pushed to hard and began to occasionally have pain on the side of my knee.  I came home and kept running until I couldn't run more than a mile without the pain coming back.  The winter a year after I got home I would just get on my families treadmill and put the incline all the way up and walk for half an hour a day.  My leg felt fine and I was still able to get the exercise I wanted.

I moved out, and a year later started student teaching, became Elders Quorum president, had a girlfriend and all of a sudden I was exhausted all the time and exercise took a back seat.  Then one day I stepped on a scale and was HORRIFIED to see I was 171.  That was 15 pounds heavier than when I got home from my mission, 20 from when I left.  I promptly went to Golds Gym, which was just behind my apartment and signed a 2 year deal.  I did really really good at times, OK at others, and had my weeks I didn't go at all.  During this time I was between 158 and 168 for 2 years.  Even when I was 168 I was in better shape and felt better than when I was 155.

This February my pass ended, in January I was sick almost the whole month and then in February the pain in my knee came back along with shin-splints, and charlie horses.  I was trying to play basketball and I was running on sheer willpower.  My legs felt like they were going to give out, and not because I was out of shape or tired, they just weren't working.  So in January, February, and March due to sickness and injury I did basically nothing.  I stepped on my scale Tuesday, March 22nd and if I was HORRIFIED at 171, I don't know what word I can use for what happened.  It rocked my world and spun me into despair.  183.5!

Let's get off that paragraph and forget it ever happened.  I had gained 15 pounds in 2-3 months.  So I made a goal, and I know they say when you make a goal you need to tell people, to be down to 163.5 in 2 months.  So by May 22nd, I will be back to where I want to be.  I feel like this is a reasonable and obtainable goal.  It came on fast, so I am hoping it will be able to come off just as easily. 

This morning after my first run, trying to test my leg, I did pretty well.  I am still trying to push myself, I figure if you are only going to go half-way, what is the point of doing it at all. The second I felt a twinge in my leg I began to walk, no point in hurting myself on the first day.  I also stretched for a good 15 minutes when I was done.  I went grocery shopping on Wednesday and have been eating very healthily and in small portions.  I have also been doing some exercises at night before I go to bed and when I weighed myself right now I was at 176.2 having lost 7.3 pounds in 5 days.  I am going to try and keep it at about 2 pounds a week, it's not really healthy to lose weight that quick.

I guess sometimes you have to hit rock bottom and be scared out of your mind to be who you want to be sometimes.  I just hope my left leg will let me kick my butt back into shape.  Because nothing else will.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Coach of the Year

Thank you Jerry Sloan and Phil Johnson. We had two of the greatest coaches ever to coach the game of basketball for pretty much my entire life. We have been greatly spoiled. What I will remember most is how he got the best out of his players, he gave his all and expected nothing less from his team. He was strict, but fair, he let the players have the credit and was always willing to take the blame, deserved or not.  This fan is sad he had to take the blame one last time.  If anyone deserved a farewell tour it was him, not to go out like this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gabe's Journey

A pass the pen story:  Co-Authored by David Horan and Richelle Robbins as well as special guest authors.
David Horan Once upon a time...

    • Richelle Robbins In a land far, far away there lived...
      January 11 at 7:48pm ·

    • David Horan a quaint little man in a quaint little village...
      January 11 at 7:57pm ·

    • Dennis R Sorensen Of the Hobbits...
      January 11 at 7:59pm ·

    • David Horan In this same village...
      January 11 at 8:00pm ·

    • Dennis R Sorensen The quaint little man had  a best friend named Ji
      January 11 at 8:03pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins Now it just so happened that the quaint little man's friend named Ji was actually a....
      January 11 at 8:06pm ·

    • David Horan Genie, who had been avoiding paying up on wishes...
      January 11 at 8:08pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins One of people who Ji owed three wishes was the quaint little man, whose name we will now reveal to be...
      January 11 at 8:11pm ·

    • David Horan Gabe. Gabe lived alone in a little hut, his life had been rather uneventful until the fateful day that he went on a journey to...
      January 11 at 8:16pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins Tinbuktu (not to be confused with Timbuktu). Now the remarkable thing about Tinbuktu was that everything in the land was made out of tin. In fact, one day while exploring this tinny place, Gabe found a tin lamp right in the middle of...
      January 11 at 8:30pm ·

    • David Horan a giant lake that was rumored to harbor the terrifying Tarasque, he had decided to search for the Tarasque because...
      January 11 at 8:31pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins in the quaint little village of the hobbits he had never encountered anything even remotely scary in his entire life. Just once, Gabe wanted to know what it was like to feel utterly terrified! (There might have been some additional motivation considering that the stinger at the end of the Tarasque's tail was rumored to have magical powers which would...
      January 11 at 8:37pm ·

    • David Horan make you live forever. Nobody knew why Gabe would want to live forever. Seeing as his life was rather mundane, at least, until his journey began. The first obstacle he met on his journey was...
      January 11 at 8:48pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins the very insistent Farmer Brown, or FB for short. FB was desperate for anyone who would help him on his farm, and he was determined that he needed a stallion!
      January 11 at 9:09pm ·

    • David Horan Gabe told Farmer Brown that once he made it to Tinbuktu he would have all the time in the world to help him find a stallion. Unfortunately, FB wasn't called insistent for no reason. He demanded that something be done and done this instant! Gabe made a run for it! Farmer Brown, without a stallion, could not catch him. As he was running away he yelled back and said, I promise I will help you when I can. Gabe would later regret leaving so quickly because he met his second obstacle...
      January 11 at 9:21pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins A large bridge loomed up in front of him. It was guarded by an evil troll! Cowering in front of the bridge were three billy goats--the Gruff brothers. They had been attempting (unsuccessfully) to cross the bridge for weeks. If only Gabe had a stallion with which he could out-run the ugly troll! Unfortunately, it was too late to go back and help FB so now Gabe's only option was to...
      January 11 at 9:36pm ·

    • David Horan tell the Gruff Brothers that he was on a journey to Tinbuktu, where everything was made out of tin. Gabe told the Gruff Brothers that they could travel with him if they made it across. Goats love tin, and with this new found motivation they came up with a plan to get past the evil troll. Their plan was simple, but ingenious. It was to...
      January 11 at 9:42pm ·

    • Matthew Melville Fart.
      January 11 at 9:45pm ·

    • David Horan With all the commotion the troll did not know what to do. He knew it was his one and only purpose in life to guard that bridge. Yet the terror of it all was just too much, even for the vilest troll to handle. The terrified troll trotted toward the trees. Gabe and the Gruff Brothers continued down the path toward Tinbuktu, and ultimately to the lair of the Tarasque. Unbeknownst to them the last obstacle, their greatest yet, was just around the river-bend.
      January 11 at 9:57pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins As those of you who are well-versed in the story of Pocahontas know, just around the river-bend happened to be a giant, talking willow tree--Grandmother Willow to be precise. After Pocahontas went back to England, Grandmother Willow was so lonesome that she became very bitter and took a vendetta out against all humans. The whomping willow in Harry Potter looked like an innocent, fluffy kitten when compared to Grandmother Willow's fury!!!
      January 12 at 2:17am ·

    • David Horan Gabe would never be able to reach the Tarasque unless he could get past Grandmother Willow. The Gruff Brothers decided no amount of tin was worth fighting such a losing battle, so they left. Gabe began to cry, he had come so far! Then he heard someone else crying. As he looked around he saw a tin man. After applying a little oil he was told that this man did not have a heart. Perfect, Gabe asked him if he would take his axe and kill Grandmother Willow. The Tin Man gladly agreed and chopped her to pieces. After, Gabe asked him if he knew anything about the Tarasque. The Tin Man told him that this river emptied into a lake where there had been many reports of its sighting. He gave him one word of advice before he continued...
      January 12 at 6:28am ·

    • Brian Lee The one word of advice the Tin Man gave was "Unless"...
      January 12 at 10:31pm ·

    • David Horan Unless what? Asked Gabe, but the tin man had begun to rust again. Gabe checked the oil can and it had a few drops left. He hoped it would be enough to get just a little bit more information...
      January 12 at 10:43pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins ‎"Unless you save a few drops of oil, you'll never be able to unchain the boat you need to ferry down the river and to the middle of the lake because it too has rusted over with time!" Drat! The oil can was empty! Fortunately for Gabe...
      January 12 at 10:48pm ·

    • David Horan his one and only hobby, his entire life, had been lock-picking. It didn't matter if it was old, new, rusted, slippery, you name it he could pick it. Gabe forged on, he found the rusty rowboat and continued down the river until he could finally see the legendary lake. The lake wasn't all he saw...
      January 12 at 11:13pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins In the middle of the lake was an island. In the middle of the island was a tree, and hanging from the middle of the tree was a giant...PINATA shaped like a...
      January 13 at 1:16am ·

    • Beverly Hellewell Heart. If he broke it what would he find. He found a stick and began to swing it. Out of the pinata fell a ...
      January 13 at 5:38am ·

    • Richelle Robbins lamp made out of tin! Now, what could he possibly do with a tin lamp?
      January 13 at 8:11am ·

    • David Horan As he was pondering the possibilities he decided to wipe some of the dirt off of the lamp. As he rubbed the lamp a genie appeared. Speaking to Gabe he said, "Hi my name is Ji, I will grant you three wishes, although I don't promise you will get them as quickly as you would like." Wow, 3 wishes, thought Gabe. As a man who had never ventured far from home, or been very adventurous, he had never thought about this question before. It took him a while to really think, after a minute he said that his first wish was...
      January 13 at 4:44pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins naturally for the ability to defeat the Tarasque (after all, that was the initial purpose for his quest in the very beginning). Ji gave him a ball and said "this is all you will need to complete your task." Gabe was rather confused. Only getting a ball when he could have wished for anything seemed rather dumb. "But what good will this do?" he questioned. "Sometimes the answers to our wishes come in unexpected ways!" Ji replied. Feeling more unsettled than reassured, Gabe set out after the Tarasque...armed with only a ball!
      January 13 at 5:47pm ·

    • David Horan Gabe got back in the boat and rowed back to shore. As he rowed he sung this song: "When I was just a little lad, I saw the knights in armor clad, dreaming of adventures I sat alone, in the small village I called my home, now the adventurer is me, what should I do with wishes 3?" As he was concluding the first verse the Tarasque came flying down, mesmerized by the tune. It seemed as though he would not need the ball at all. But, with the Tarasque so tranquil, how would he get it to sting him granting him the power to live forever?...
      January 13 at 9:24pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins ‎"Well," he said to himself, "Ji must have given me this ball for a reason." He held it up for the Tarasque to see who suddenly started wagging his tail with the stinger at the end. "Curious," he thought. Gabe was reminded of his own childhood dog. "This may seem crazy, but why not?" With that, he threw the ball with all his might, hurtling it across the sky!
      January 13 at 9:31pm ·

    • David Horan The Tarasque flew after it and quickly retrieved it, this game of fetch continued on for several minutes. As fun as this was, it wasn't getting him any closer to his goal. Finally, Gabe decided he wasn't going to throw the ball back. This made the Tarasque extremely angry and within seconds Gabe had been stung. The feeling did not feel much like a renewal of life and energy. It felt more like...
      January 13 at 9:36pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins his lungs were stuck in an iron (or tin) vice. He found himself gasping for air. Looking up, the sun seemed to be dimming. Suddenly he realized that the force of the Tarasque's sting had knocked him into the lake!
      January 13 at 9:40pm ·

    • David Horan As he sunk lower and lower he struggled for breath, and somehow, he received it. He felt as if there were hundreds of worms crawling under his skin. For a brief moment there was an intense pain coming from his legs. He had been turned into a mermaid, or more accuratly a merman. Several mermaids began to swim toward him. A particularly beautiful one told him that the stories of the Tarasque granting eternal life were indeed true, but that it came at a price. He would remain a merman for the rest of eternity. Gabe was devastated, until he remembered...
      January 13 at 9:51pm ·

    • Richelle Robbins he still had two wishes left! Rubbing the lamp, Ji appeared again with an air tank strapped to his back. Gabe told him his second wish was to be human again, but Ji reminded Gabe that he wasn't very prompt when it came to granting wishes. "Well, is there anything we can do to speed up the process?" Gabe asked in desperation. "Well, I might grant your wish sooner if....
      Saturday at 2:44am ·

    • David Horan No, you wouldn't want to do that." sighed Ji. "No I would do anything!" replied Gabe, "I have everything I need, this adventure was my life long dream, and boy has it been an adventure. I don't need anything else. I'll tell you what, if you make me human right now and don't make me stay a merman for years, I will give you my third wish." Ji was in shock, nobody had ever done anything for him before. Ji said, "You are a great man, I have met many travelers, knights, kings, and many of the greatest adventurers. But you are the greatest, I wish I had met you sooner." Sparks began to fly around them, "Wait!" screamed the genie, that wasn't my wish! Suddenly they were both in the hobbit village. There they remained friends for many years, and seemed to have been friends for a long time, but there was still one thing left undone...
      Saturday at 11:36am ·

    • Richelle Robbins One day Ji and Gabe were talking. "You realize," Ji said, "that you actually still have one more wish. You gave me your third wish, and I wished that I had known you sooner. That took us back to the beginning before you ever went after the Tarasque. It also took us back before you had a chance to use your second wish. You've been a good friend for many years. What would you like for your one last wish?"
      23 hours ago ·

    • David Horan I just wish that people would realize that it isn't a crazy adventure that makes a person happy, but the friendships that you make along the way. Without each other none of this would have been possible. Farmer Brown wouldn't have gotten the stallion we found for him later that year. I couldn't have passed the bridge without the Gruff brothers. The tin man made it possible to get past Grandmother Willow and I helped keep him oiled. Without you I wouldn't have made it past the Tarasque and you wouldn't have been freed from that lamp and been able to live free. I didn't need wishes or eternal life, I just needed a friend. So that is my only wish, that anyone who reads this adventure will appreciate what truly matters in life and gives it meaning, those that you can consider your true friends.
      23 hours ago ·

    • Richelle Robbins And they all lived happily ever after!
      THE END!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dave: The Story of my Life

So I have been working on getting the framework of my auto-biography done.  Most of this was written when I was 16.  Pay special attention to the word framework.  It is not super exciting right now because it's missing what makes any biography great, the stories.

That is where you come in, if you have any or many memories of me please add them to the comments where they most logically would fit.  Remember my posterity could someday see this and although I am fine if they are embarrassing, we are looking for good, honest memories.  You can also write it in a message and send it to me on facebook or e-mail me.

You are more than welcome to read some or all of this, but like I said, right now I am just throwing stuff out there and this summer I will try and make it more readable and flowing.  I appreciate your help and for all that you have meant to me and my life.  My life would have been nothing without you, and right now my auto-biography is basically nothing without you.  So comment away!  Thanks.

Also sorry if I missed anything or anyone, luckily we can get this fixed and add in that super important thing I forgot.  I couldn't even begin to include everything, but if it's good enough that you remember it after this long, it's good enough to write down.

Chapter 1: Intro
Chapter 2: Before I was, there were
Chapter 3: Birth-Pre-School
Chapter 4: Elementary School
Chapter 5: I grew up here
Chapter 6: Games/Activities I liked
Chapter 7: My First Love
Chapter 8: I wish I could see ___ again
Chapter 9: Jr. High
Chapter 10: Sophomore Year Classes
Chapter 10: Part 2: Sophomore Year
Chapter 11: Junior year 2000-01
Chapter 12: Senior Year 2001-02
Chapter 13: Pre-Mission/Miller
Chapter 14: Mission
Chapter 15: Glenwood/El.Ed.Program
Chapter 16: Sparks
Chapter 17: Now/Other


Now I live in Lehi.  I decided that even though I wasn't married I still needed to progress in life.  So I bought a house.  Jared and Chris moved in with me and it has been great, not quite as social, but great.  I have not regretted it for a moment.

I teach at Freedom Elementary still, this is my third year.  I love it as much, if not more, than I ever have.  I have tried really hard to continue to do better both as a teacher, and just as a person in general.  Hopefully the next chapter, of this book I call my life, will be marriage.



All of my friends were home from their missions now.  It was summer time and I always moved out for the summers.  2007 was no different, except for the fact that I was moving out for good.  Sparks was going to be my new home for at least a year, which ended up being two years.

Matt Melville had some friends that lived there, and so that is where we chose.  I am trying to remember who the original group of us were.  Well, here are all the people that lived in that apartment, with me, in those two years.  We never had an opening, someone always took the empty spots as quick as they could.  Either friends, or people living in other apartments that wanted in with us.  Matt, Jared, Dan, Jeremy, Jake, Spencer, Patrick, Jaren, Denny, Jose and Chris.  I hope I didn't forget anyone.  Jared and I were the only ones that were there the entire time that I was there.

When I moved in I told myself that I had to start giving girls more of a chance.  My first year there I had two brief relationships.  They each taught me different things, and were both not right for me for completely opposite reasons.  I don't think I would really even call either of them relationships, but more learning experiences.  Sometimes before you can find the right one sometimes you have to find what doesn't work first.

My second year there I started student teaching, and I was made the Elders Quorum President, and I had my first real girlfriend.  Needless to say, life was a little crazy.  I felt like I had three very important things, and each of them were worthy of my sole undivided attention.  None of them truly got the time and effort they deserved.  I felt like I did my best though.  Luckily I had great counselors, a great teacher to work with, and a great girl.

After dating for about three months or so we broke up.  I would have loved for it to work out, but it felt like we were just trying to force it after a while.  We both agreed that we needed to break up.  She was great and I was a better person for being around her.  At the same time I felt like a little weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

I graduated, no longer had a girlfriend, and they released me from my calling at the end of the semester.  I went from looking like a zombie, to having absolutely nothing to do.  I was looking for a job, but that was about it.  I interviewed for 3 jobs and 2 of them gave me offers.  One at Snow Springs Elementary teaching 5th grade and one at Freedom Elementary teaching 4th grade.  4th grade was what I student taught, and I loved Freedom Elementary.  They had a bunch of cool technology stuff, and everything I knew about the principal was really great.

Meanwhile, back to Sparks.  I had a TON of fun.  Slurpee runs, making forts, Arches National Park, parades, going running, dance parties, drives up the canyon, pool parties, Rock Band, and an amazing California road trip.

I kept some friends the entire time, and some apartments we cycled through each semester.  In 2008 I discovered this strange thing called a blog.  I have done a pretty good job of updating things since then. So I am going to let this project be done, for now.


2006-2007: Glenwood and UVSC El. Ed. Program

I got home from my mission.  So now what?  Go home and get married, they said.  How does one even go about this?  If this was your end goal why did you teach and train me how to do exactly the opposite the past 21 years?  Don't have a girlfriend before your mission, OK, I had a ton of friends and had a lot of great times, but I never let it get past good friends.  Then on the mission they say lock your heart, OK, it's locked completely.  Now go home and get married?  All I know how to do is keep my heart locked and be friends.

I didn't go on a date for a few months, but I found some other things to keep me busy.  Nearly all of my friends, being younger than me, were still on their missions.  Luckily, Jared got back the week after me and Dan and Jeff had recently gotten home.  We did a ton together and found a group of girls that were really cool.

Since I got home in October school didn't start for two months.  So I got a job with UPS during the holiday rush and got to run around door to door and deliver packages.  It made me feel like a missionary, except people were excited to see me and it was really snowy.

During the first semester of 2006 I stayed living at home.  Then the summer came and it was time to move out again.  Jared, Dan and I moved to Glenwood apartments in Provo.  I was working at the UVSC testing center, and taking a bunch of summer classes, that whole get done with school as fast as you can thing.  So I felt like I wasn't able to get involved as much as I would have liked.  We had a blast still, and I made a few good friends.  But when the summer ended Dan and I each decided to move back home to save some money and Jared stayed behind.

The fall of 2006 I started the education program while I was still 21 years old.  Most 21 year olds are just getting started with college.  I guess the get done quick plan was working.

My first year I was one of only two guys in my cohort.  You hear some interesting things sometimes when people forget there is a man around...  I loved everything about the program, my classmates became my family.  We had the exact same schedules for the two years we were in the program.  The second year the other boy switched to a different cohort, so I was then the only male.  The first day of our second year everyone was fighting over who got me to sit by them.

We were the popular table, but mostly the kind of popular that everyone actually does like you.  Although when it appeared that we didn't work very hard and still would get the highest scores some people didn't like that.  There were a lot of overachievers in our class, they always amazed me, but I got just as good a scores as they did because I followed the rubric, nothing more, nothing less.

There were only two teachers that did not seem to like our table.  She who shall not be named, and our math teacher.  Our second year we got smart, we didn't buy any books until after the first day of classes.  We would find out what books we would actually HAVE to use and use a lot, and the ones that looked like we could get by with sharing.  Then we would each buy one of those books and take turns.  It took some planning, you had to read something early, or sometimes had to read a lot the night before, but it worked great and saved a lot of money.

Well one time in math our teacher told us to open our books, and none of us had that one.  It was the only day she had us open them in class all semester.  She asked us where our books were and we informed her that none of us had bought it, she wasn't very happy.  She docked us points, even though each of us had in fact read what we were supposed to.  We weren't lazy, just cheap, I mean smart.

I loved the program.  I loved almost every single one of my teachers, they were amazing.  But most of all I loved my classmates, if these are the people that will be shaping the future generation we are in very good hands.  There are times I miss it, I miss being a student.  I loved, loved, loved my time at UVSC.  Now we have all gone our separate ways, I kind of keep in contact with 3-4 of them.  I wish we could have a big reunion and share funny/crazy stories about what we have had to deal with.

I have had several people ask me, why a teacher?  I even have had other teachers ask that, you would think they would know.  I feel like it is what I am supposed to do.  I love it, I love my job!  I want to make a difference, and bring kids from wherever they are to some place better.  I'm not perfect at it, I'm not the perfect fit for every kid, but I try my best and I care about the kids I am trusted with.  I don't always like all the hoops you have to jump through, the school system is not perfect, parents can be a hassle, but the kids I work with are amazing.  They each have special talents and skills, I just have to help them see that and use them.



I went into the MTC as excited as I could be.  I had been looking forward to this point of my life for a long time.  I didn't have to learn a language, I could just hit the ground running and never stop.  Boy was I in for a big surprise, and it may not be the one you are thinking.

I felt like the MTC was a big step down, not up.  The MTC itself was great and amazingly spiritual, but I had never associated with such immature people in my life.  I was shocked at many of the kids and their attitudes and work ethics.  Luckily, the majority were great and I had a wonderful time.  I agreed with the saying, the church must be true or 19 year old kids would have ruined it a long time ago.  A lot of people say they hate the MTC, but I thought it was great, I was also only there for 3 weeks.  You got all the food you could want, you got to study the scriptures, meet new people and it was such a spiritual high.

My favorite part was the music though.  I also able to take part in the MTC choir, but also just singing with my group.  I also wrote a little song for my companion, that he loved.  Elder Loertscher, Elder Loertscher, it's time to get out of bed!  It may have only been three weeks, but I was with those people all day and our friendships will last forever.

Finally I got to fly to Seattle and meet my first companion.  His name was Elder Haynie and we were serving in the Issaquah 3rd ward.  They had just had like six baptisms the week before I got there.  Needless to say, they weren't really thrilled when they heard one of their missionaries was being transferred.  Luckily, they quickly took a liking to me as well.  Unfortunately, after all of their hard work, we really didn't have anyone left to teach.

We tracted a ton!  I think in the six months I was there only one person let us in at the time we knocked on their door, and he was a scary anti guy.  The only light in his house was a candle, and he sat on the couch with his guitar and I was scared he was going to blow it out and hit us over the head with his guitar or something.  He didn't, but at least I got in a door!

My first day tracting we had knocked for hours with not a single person answering.  Finally we walked up a driveway and I saw they were home, he had a video camera out.  In my mind I thought, how cool will this be when we baptize him and he has the time he met us on film.  He opened the door, took a picture with his video camera, while continuing to record us.  He then yelled at us and said that he told us to take us off his list and that he was calling our boss.  That he had told us never to come to his house again.  So much for showing that video at his baptism...

Finally I was able to meet the Hansens.  Barry and Anne were two amazing people.  Barry was a member, but Anne was not.  She was interested, so she decided that we could meet for half an hour every other week.  (Imagine how hard it was to find time when investigators weren't interested).  We tried to have as much contact as possible, but sometimes she was so busy with work that even these meetings had to be postponed.  We always had a fun time talking to Barry whenever we dropped by, even though he spent his whole time trying to embarrass me.  Barry did a good job of letting it be her decision as to how far she wanted to go and to let her ask questions.  He never forced anything on her or put any pressure for her to do anything.  It was a slow process, but one that was progressing and that had come a long way.

Then it was time for me to be transferred.  I had served in this area for 6 months.  I was sad to go, and hoped that things would continue to progress in this wonderful ward, especially for the Hansens.  My new area was in Auburn, with Elder Humpherys.  Here we served in 2 wards.  The Green River Ward, which included the Marshallese unit, and the Korean Branch.

The Marshallese are the people from the Marshall Islands.  Being assigned to work with them and also the Korean Branch were great experiences.  All 3 cultures I was dealing with were all very very different.  I gained a lot of weight in this area.  The Marshallese fed us whenever we went to their homes.  We tried to pick the most odd times, but they always had something ready.  Then we would have a dinner appointment at night, then we usually had a Marshallese appointment in the evening, and they would feed us too.  They also expected you to eat a lot.  Not only that, but a guy from our ward worked at Pizza hut, and if they ever had any left over pizzas he would drop them off at our place.

I loved my time in Auburn.  Auburn Love!  We were a tight knit group and we had a lot of fun.  We also kept busy and I was able to start seeing some success.  When transfers came after four months I was surprised to hear that we were both being transferred.  I would have liked to have seen at least one of us stay behind to help explain the cultures and be someone that the Marshallese knew and trusted, but I figured it must be the right thing.

I then got moved up to Bellevue.  It was a really nice area.  Ichiro, who plays for the Mariners, lived in that area, he lived next door to a member.  Another member in our ward basically lived in a museum, I was always scared to go over there.  They owned the worlds largest egg, it was pretty sweet.  One of the members of our ward was the President or one of those big guys of T-Mobile.  I remember for Christmas he got a life size poster of Catherine Zeta Jones and had her sign and write a message on it as a gag gift for another guy in our ward to give away.

Needless to say tracting was not very successful here.  It was nearly impossible to find anyone home, maybe someone doing yard work or landscaping, but not an actual person that lived there.  So I decided to try and be creative and work with the members.  We came up with all kinds of quotes, lessons, excuses to get in as many members homes as we could.  We tried to do it the right way, and not become annoying or be over there more than what was appropriate, but we did what we could.  We did not do a perfect job at this, but we tried really hard and brought members with us to any lessons that we did have.  It did not show any more results than knocking on doors.  I like to hope at least it got missionary work in their minds and brought the spirit and gospel into their homes a little more than it would have.

During this time I got a brand new missionary, Elder Moultrie.  We had a great time together and tried to work really hard.  We talked about a lot of things, but I mentioned the Hansens to him a few times, and said that if I could have any one thing, it would be to see Anne get baptized.  Sadly, transfer time came again.

Not only was I being transferred, but I was being made a Zone Leader.  I had 9 months left and would end up spending them all in Federal Way.  They just couldn't get rid of me for some reason.  I started out with one ward, after 3 months I got a new companion Elder Bunker.  Along with him we also were assigned the Singles ward along with our other one.  Then the next transfer we got assigned a third ward.  Only one other companionship in our zone had more than one ward.

During this time we started a new Zone Leader meeting, other than what we had normally done.  Each companionship in the mission was supposed to come up with people they were working with that just weren't progressing.  We as zone leaders then took this information and we talked about it.  Sometimes other zone leaders would have good information that we didn't know, either they had served there themselves or talked to missionaries that had.  This would help us know what directions to take, what members could help, things to avoid, and patterns to see.  We discovered that many had similar problems and we tried to think of general things to help overcome some problems.

We only did this once or twice, because we saw a lot of patterns and it really gave us great direction.  But at one of these they mentioned the Hansens and how they didn't seem to be progressing and were not taking the lessons anymore.  I was able to tell them how busy she was and how their pace may not be the same as what most missionaries would like, but that she will progress if you let her and aren't overbearing.  The mission president gave me special permission to go back to that area one day and to be there for a lesson.

The missionaries there didn't like the idea when they heard it, they didn't understand.  They took it as some zone leader is going to come and do what they can't.  So it didn't happen, until the next transfer when Elder Moultrie got transferred there.  He would have done anything to see me anyway, so I was able to go with him and his companion to a lesson at the Hansens.  She didn't have a lot of time that day, but allowed us to come since I was going to be there.  I don't think I did or said anything great, but she decided to keep studying the Book of Mormon and the missionaries kept going over and working with her.

She ended up deciding to get baptized.  When I heard I was so excited, I wished that I would be able to be there to witness it, but it wasn't my area.  Then I got a call from Elder Moultrie.  He told me that she had asked that I baptize her.  He told her that we weren't allowed to leave our areas, but that he would talk to the president.  So they talked to him and he decided that since I didn't ask and that it was coming from the member that he would give me permission.  They kept it as a secret from her until I showed up at the baptism.  It was one of the highlights of my life. 

I was able to be there for a part of the process with other people, and may have meant something to them, but I felt like I was sent on my mission for them.  Or maybe they were sent there for me.  I learned a lot from them and was so glad to see the entire process through.  After my mission Elder Moultrie and I drove up to see them sealed in the temple, which was another miracle in of itself.

I was in the middle of student teaching and I could not miss any days.  But the day they planned it happened to be a break at the school I was assigned to.  It was not a college break, just for the elementary school.  If it had been any other time I would not have been ale to go.  Just another tender mercy.

Anyway, back to the mission and to Federal Way with Elder Bunker.  We kept busy with our three wards, being zone leaders, going on exchanges, and working with a very large zone.  Somehow with all of this going on it was the most productive time of my mission.  We had baptisms in each of our wards and I never worked so hard in all my life.  We stopped having dinner appointments, they were a complete waste of time.   We woke up an extra half hour early on a regular basis and would go and run 3-4 miles.  It was great, we found a good balance between the two of us, although it took a month or two, and pushed each other to greater heights each day.  We served together for six months.  I would have stayed another six with him, but they told me I had to go home.

It was a great and terrible day.  I felt like I had done my best, I was worn out, but it was the greatest thing I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of.  I loved my mission, and hope to go on more when I am older.

Sorry, I got a little photo happy.  I actually narrowed it down quite a bit.