Saturday, December 20, 2008

An early Christmas gift for me!

Today BYU plays Arizona in the Las Vegas Bowl. And we all know that means that last night there was another fantabulously awesome football fireside.

Because of my lack of enthusiasm for so much of life lately, I wasn't sure I would go. But I figured that I would regret it if I didn't go and so I forced myself. I even forced myself to be there an hour early.

Being so early, I got a great seat right up front in the row behind seats reserved for the team families. And wouldn't you know if the guy at the very left of my picture sat right in front of me with his wife. His name is Chris Muelman.

There was a few minutes left before it started and his wife went to the bathroom. So I whipped out my camera and forced him to look at several of my million BYU fanatic fan pictures.

First I showed him the picture he was in and asked if he remembered it. He said he did. Wasn't that cute of him to lie to/humor me like that? Then we had an in depth conversation about some of my other pictures and how was the team doing and things like that. He told me that Bryce Mahika, who is next to me in my picture is sick and didn't come. Sadly the fireside had to start so we had to stop.

The fireside was great as usual. The first player Steve Fisher spoke about kindness and trying to emulate that character that the Savior displayed.

The next speaker, Wayne Latu talked about being a living testimony of Christ. He was my favorite speaker, because he made me laugh until my sides hurt. He told a story about when he was twelve and he first really identified and thought seriously about the Saviour.

He was in middle school, and had let his hair grow out longer than his mom wanted it to be. Every Friday night he and a group of friends would go roller skating. They were too young to drive and so their moms would take turns. One night he went and informed his mom that it was her turn to drive. His mom informed him that if he wanted a ride, he would have to cut his hair. He said No, No way. And so he was sent to his room.

He went to his room and was wallowing in his situation and looked up to see a picture of Jesus Christ on his wall. He went back to his mom and said "Mom, Jesus Christ had long hair." To which his wise mother replied "Jesus Christ also walked every where he went". Enough said.

The next story he told was about his mission in Peurto Rico. He had a golden investigator named Pablo. Pablo came to church every week, paid his tithing, lived the word of wisdom, and was a great guy. He even did home teaching. The only problem was that he didn't want to get baptized.

One night Wayne returned home to his apartment so discouraged about Pablo. He flung his back pack on the floor and feel to his knees. He plead with Heavenly Father to help him know what to do to help Pablo. Then he remembered something from seminary- If you want to talk to the Lord pray, but if you want the Lord to talk to you read the scriptures.

In faith and still with a prayer in his heart he opened his Book of Mormon to 1 Nephi 4:12 "And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands".

Wayne said to himself, Pablo is such a great guy this can not be right. And shortly after that Wayne was transferred.

At the end of his mission Wayne was able to return to that area and found that Pablo had finally been baptized. He asked him what had finally made the difference. Pablo said that his knowledge of the Saviour in his head, finally changed to his heart truly knowing about the atonement. Then he was ready to make the commitment.

Holly Mendenhall told a story about how they visited her brother in Panama last summer and Bronco took the chance to take a break from shaving. When they were about to return to the states, he asked her if she thought he ought to shave. Holly reminded him of what he always says to her "All times, all things, all places." And so he shaved.

When they were getting off the plane in Atlanta, someone two rows behind them said "Coach, I knew the plane wouldn't crash, with you on board." Her point to this is that we never know who is watching our example.

Coach Mendenhall spoke about his interview with ESPN and how they questioned him about his statement that football is fifth on the priority list for his team.

He then had a great missionary opportunity as he explained the other four things that come before football in his life and his team.

1. Faith, that is always first and foremost in our life, because eternally nothing else matters.

2. Family, family is something we will take with us to the next life.

3. Knowledge, also something we will take with us when we die.

4. Friends, studies have shown that our friend are the number one influencer in our life, more than parents and teachers.

And finally 5 Football.

The ESPN guys then asked how they could be one of only a handful of teams in the country who have won 10 games for the past 3 years. And Coach again bore testimony that it was because of these priorities that they have had success.

It was a great meeting. And I was remarkably cheered by my attendance. But then the fun part is walking around afterwards and rubbing elbows with the players.

At one point I happened upon these three guys, hanging out together. I cornered them and shared my pictures with them also. Perhaps I managed to convince them of my bid to win number one fan in Vegas.

Some other girls took my picture with these guys.

But I wasn't happy that I was standing in front of the one guy, so I asked for a re shoot.

This one is much better, don't you think? Just me and my guys, best buds, hangin' out. Good times, I tell ya.

Next I wondered over to where Dennis Pitta was standing

I showed him this great shot from back in September. He was injured two games ago and so I asked how he was doing. I have to say that he was not convincing when he said he would be ready to go. I am worried for him.

Also I was instrumental in getting a family to stand with him and I took their picture. They were thrilled. Next I got the girl who took my picture to stand next to him for a picture. It was very fun and fulfilling to help others achieve their stalking dreams.

Now through a very happy turn of events I find myself in possession of a ticket to the game that is on the 50 yard line. So I will now be going to the game. It is going to be ridiculously cold.

I feel like I am going to prom and must spend the day in preparations. Where are my thermals? How many layers should I wear? What about my hand warmers? And of course I can't forget my camera so I can document myself looking like the kid from A Christmas Story all bundled up. Wish me luck. And even more the Cougars, they are 3 point underdogs.


Smart Helm said...

You are awesome! I'm glad u went cuz it sounded like u needed it.
UR stalking skills are amazing.

Kristina P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristina P. said...

Wow, I hope someone important is on our flight on Wednesday. I do not like to fly.

And I think you totally blow my FIL out of the water in regards to being a BYU fan.

Kris said...

I'm so glad you had a good fireside experience. Go
Go Go Cougs. It was fun listending to the ESPN guys try to explain the list and how it works for BYU. They compared it to the Army/Navy. But its not quite the same thing.

Jen said...

Just watched the game... you must be really bummed right now. It was good, then it was bad, then it got exciting again, and then it tanked.


But at least you probably got some rad pics, hey?

April said...

Way to get the picture!!! I just showed my son who is watching a taped version of the game (I don't have the heart to tell him--and he doesn't want to be told the outcome) and he is sooooo jealous!! I am too for that matter. I had the opportunity to go to the game, but I had so many Christmas gifts to get done that I didn't have time! Boooo! But my hubby went and he's probably drying his tears as I write this.

I'm glad that you went to the fireside and shared it with us too! You took some awesome notes!!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh Pat, you are the cutest stalker in the world. Look at your cute stalker smile in those photos. That smile says it all. LOVE IT.

Great stories!

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Jen, you are so right about the being bummed part but on the bright side getting some great pictures. I am too tired to post them tonight, but tomorrow.

Eliza said...

You are the best stalker ever! I'm glad that you went and that you were spiritually fed.