I don’t usually cry when I spill my soda. Haven’t for months.
I almost did today.
Today while going to Facebook for the first time in a week or so, I learned something that shook my world.
David Steele Hansen, or President Hansen as I will always think of him, my mission president passed away last week.
This is going to sound cliche to every return missionary out there but President Hansen was like a second father to me. For the two most important years of my life up until that point, he was a trust friend, leader and mentor. I learned so much from him, ever single bit of it good.
While my father is the man who has had the strongest influence on my life, President Hansen made the single decision that had more influence on my life for good than any other.
He let himself remain my mission president.
Early on in my mission, I made a mistake. A really big mistake. A mistake born out of rage and pride, the two flaws that had the most sway over me. A mistake that could have easily lead to my being sent home a failure.
I don’t know what would have happened to me if I President Hansen had decided to send me home then. It could have been a major wake up call that caused me to change my life. I could have risen from the ashes of my despair and soared forth and new and better man.
I doubt it though.
I was a 19 year old ball of rage and pride. People so deeply marinated in such damning traits don’t usually respond well to failure or being looked upon as one.
I can easily imagine a world where I got sent home and in my own bitterness turn my back on the church and everyone associated with it.
Fortunately, I don’t have to know.
President Hansen was in tune with The Spirit. I don’t know if he sensed what I would do if I were sent home, I don’t know if the Lord had to soften his heart for him to allow me to continue. I don’t know if he just didn’t want to do the paper work.
What I do know is a few weeks later, I was transferred into the office. I got to work with President Hansen every day. I got to learn from him in ways I couldn’t have otherwise. I got to return to regular missionary work a few week later and slowly but surely, stop being quite so ruled by rage and pride.
I can honestly say the man I am today, while still not as great as President Hansen, is a lot better than he would have been if President hadn’t been in my life.
I hadn’t spoken to the Hansens in years. I miss having them in my life. I miss them now more than ever.
I didn’t get to go the funeral. I found out about it the day after. I wanted to do something to remember the greatest leader I’ve ever known. I remember President telling me one time that he used to enjoy Dr Pepper. I personally don’t care for the stuff, but I bought some today and in a gesture that can never capture the emotion it held, I poured the last bit out for President Hansen.
The surest sign on a blog approaching (or reapproaching in this case) than sequential posts that begin with an apology for not updating recently.
So screw you guys, I’m not apologizing for nothing!
There that should save me.
I suck, I know. But cut me a little slack please. I’ve been busy lately. No busier than you I’m sure and not even any busier than me normally. I’ve just been pissier than usual about it and therefore allowed myself more slacking than I would before.
Plus I’m making up for a lifetime being a nerd but not knowing how to play Magic the Gathering or anything like it.
My head hurts, I need to get working on re-baby/inlaw-proofing this house and I really want to finish season one of “Avatar: the Last Airbender” before I go to bed, so we’re doing a short, slice of life piece and calling it a day.
My mom is a pack rat and it’s pretty much ruined my life. Not only did I nearly trip and fall over a box of saved Sunday funnies in our basement and nearly crack my head open but that little mental quirk is totally hereditary. I had to force myself to throw away a broken bike pump because I had so much wasted space in garage just begging to store stuff.
Her attachment to things totally paid off a tough. A couple week ago, she brought my old Ninja Turtle figures for me and her grandchildren to play with. I could friggin’ smell my childhood coming off these things.
My son and nephew have both been going though a bit of a Turtles kick lately so it was perfect timing and a ton of fun. And better yet, my son is now hooked on the concept of playing with toys like this now.
So now we play with action figures a lot. And of course these action figures need to fight which is done in the ancient martial art of smashing the things into each other while making fight noises with your mouth and hoping your fingers don’t get smashed.
Just like his old man, he doesn’t have a lot of actual action figures, so we get to play pretend while we’re playing pretend (that guy from the memes would love it). Like today, I had to let him use his apatosaurus (the word brontosaurus is forbidden in my home) figure as a superhero.
He’ll have plenty of time in the future to learn all about the racist laws that prevent such things from ever really happening.
Man, I really thought I’d have more than that. Sorry folks, you’re getting what you’re paying for tonight.
No world changing plans this time, just something I’ve been carrying for a long time and really need to get off my chest.
The following animals are stupid:
Skunks: Skunks are stupid. They’re a little black and white animal whose only defense is the fact that they really really stink.
We’ll I’ve got news for you to little poofy-tailed morons, you live in Nature. Nature already stinks. It’s full of big sweaty animals with shaggy hair that never bathe or wipe or put on deodorant. Things are dying and rotting all other the place. There isn’t a thing in nature that doesn’t smell like it’s own butt.
You’re not intimidating skunks. Go evolve some fangs or something.
So I screwed up and dropped my pretty decent update schedule, so to make it up to everyone I’m going to solve all the world’s problems.
And at the low low cost of letting me see you naked.
Not just me of course, me knowing what everyone’s naughty bits look like isn’t going to solve anything. I am however convinced that many problems will go away with everyone knowing what everyone’s naughty bits look like.
This is what I’m proposing, we finally let the internet be what it’s always wanted to be, a place of true equality, a place without boundaries and place where you can truly see every naked person that has ever been naked.
It’s been amazing over the last 3 years to learn what exactly is genetic.
For example, I just learned that concern for hats is hereditary on you fathers side.
So my son and I were at Lagoon, our local amusement park, for some bonding yesterday. Not wanting to engage in another genetic fun fest known as skin cancer, we both lathered up in sunscreen and made sure to keep our hats on as much as logistically possible.