Friday, December 28, 2012


     It is funny how I sit down to write this post at the tail end of 2012 and I think about how much my life has grown and changed over the last 12 months.  How much I have grown and changed as a person, all of my accomplishments and failures.  I think about where i was this time last year and the blog post I wrote about what I wanted to accomplish in the year 2012.  Did I live up to the person I wanted ti become?  Well lets review them one by one so I can get my thoughts and feelings out and make some resolutions for the year 2013.

Leave WalMart and find a new job:  This I accomplished in August.  I left Walmart behind and have started a new job.  It was a bit shaky in the beginning but I started a new position with the company in November and now I absolutely love it.  Resolution Accomplished.

Stick with Education:  I am still attending school to become a teacher.  Resolution Accomplished.

Becoming A Father:  Our daughter is due in late March:  Resolution Accomplished.

Learn and Grow in the Gospel:  This resolution is mixed for myself.  Within the last few months I have not been attending church that much because my wife has been sick because of the pregnancy, so when she is sick I stay home and take care of her.  I also have been seriously lacking in my scripture studying and prayers.  How can one learn and grow in the sweet gospel of Jesus Christ if they are not willing to do their part?  I am making no excuses here, this is totally my fault:  Resolution Neutral.

New Calling:  I am the Secretary of the Elders Quorum in my ward and I know I have not done my job lately and I feel absolutely horrible about it.  I need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for my calling.  I love my calling and the people I work with in the calling so I need to do my part and make our quorum a successful one:  Resolution Neutral.

Become a Better Person:  I still need to do a lot of growing:  Resolution Neutral.

Now it is time for me to make some Resolutions for 2013:
I will become a father and I want to be the best father I can be.  A loving, doting, caring father to my soon to be daughter.
To receive my Associate's Degree and begin my journey to my Bachelors.  I will be receiving my Associate's in June barring no failing of classes.
To get my life back on track with the church and my Heavenly Father.  I need to dive right in and immerse myself in the gospel of Jesus Christ so I can learn and grow as a person.  The gospel is intended to make weak men strong, and strong men stronger.  I want this, I need this in my life more so I can become the kind of person my Heavenly Father knows that I can be.  I want to live up to the potential that he knows I can.
I want to do some missionary work for the church.  I do not know how I will do this yet, but I am thinking about it.  President David O. Mckay once said "Every member a missionary" and I intend to make this statement true for myself.
To Read my scriptures more and have more personal and family prayer.
To learn Portugese.  My wife served her mission in Sao Paulo Brazil and I have become obsessed with her mission lately.  Part of this obsession is trying to learn to speak Portugese.  We will see what the future hold as far as this resolution goes.
To tell and show my wife everyday how much I love her.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Reasons To Be Thankful For

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will acall upon the name of the Lord. (Psalm 116:17)

With the Thanksgiving holiday season rapidly approaching I thought I would make a list of some of the things I am thankful for this holiday season:

I am thankful for a Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ who are always there for me and for the atoning sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross for the sins of all mankind so that we might all have the chance to return to them and live in their presence.

I am thankful for the scriptures, no matter where I turn to in them they always provide me with the answers that I need.

I am thankful for my three families...My wife who has shown me nothing but unconditional love whom I am glad to be with for eternity, and for my soon to be daughter Tielle, I did not know I could love her already and she has not even been born yet.  My mother and father and my niece and nephews whom I love and miss very much and cannot wait to see them again.  To my mother and father in-law and all of my other in-laws, they are the best and I am blessed to have them in my life.

I am thankful for all of my friends I have in my life, Brian and Ellen.  My two best friends, even though I am thousands of miles away I value their friendships and remember the times we had in the past.  Larry, who I value like a father and brother in the gospel, I am blessed to have the opportunity that he re-baptized me and am grateful to him for never giving up on me.  To Eric, although we have only known each other a short time you are always there for me and my life is richer for having you a part of it.  All of my other friends I have made, I thank you all for being a part of my life.

I am thankful to be in school and to be reaching my dream of someday becoming a school teacher and to have the encouragement and support of friends and family who never give up on me.

I am thankful to have found a new job that I absolutely love.

I am thankful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, ( ( and for Jesus Christ's true church restored on the earth and through his plan, and his holy temples ( we can return to live in their presence and be with our families for time and all eternity.

I am thankful for the soldiers (past, present, and future) who sacrifice their time and lives to defend our freedoms.  We all owe them brave warriors a debt of gratitude.

I am thankful to live in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America, where we all have the right to worship how we wish and to live in a democratic nation.

I am thankful for my calling in the Elders Quorum as the Secretary and to have my chance to serve Heavenly Father this way.

These are just some of the many things that I am grateful for this season.  I am sure many more will come to my mind soon.  Perhaps if they do I might update this blog again?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Obama vs Romney

     As a lot of people know I love politics, especially when it comes to the office of the President of the United States.  My wife can tell you, I watch all of the political shows no matter what channel they might be on.  We have an election coming up on November 6th for the President.  This election will decide the course of our country not only here at home, but foreign policy as well for the next four years.   have belonged to the Democratic party ever since I was first able to vote in the 1996 election.  Until recently I have decided to vote for the "other" party in this election.  Let me give you 2 reasons why I have switched my vote in this election:
1. Stagnate Economy: Obama promised an improved economy. But, the unemployment rate has remained above 8% for 43 months. Supposedly the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8% recently, but many feel these numbers are inaccurate as the GDP did not also reflect a spiked improvement. Rosier jobs reports exist only by not counting people who have given up on looking for jobs. If these individuals were included in the jobs numbers for this country, it is estimated that the unemployment numbers would actually be around 11% or so. This generation of young adults seem to need a new nickname - the “boomerang” generation, as many young college graduates are unable to find work in this economy and are moving back in with their parents.

2.  Food Stamp Increase: Never before in the history of our country have so many Americans been on food stamps as they are right now. Food stamp spending has increased 100% since Obama took office. This can be attributed to the horrible state of the economy, and perhaps also because of the ads put out by the National Ad Council, marketing entitlements to the general public. Dependency over self-sufficiency seems to be the agenda of this administration. Especially telling American who have developed their own businesses, that “You didn’t build that!” Obama believes that the government is the answer, not creative, hard-working individuals – he couldn’t be more wrong.

     I sincerely believe these are just a few reasons why our country needs new leadership, and Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan are the people who can steer us into a new direction.  A direction of fiscal solvency, a direction that might not make it better for me, but will make this country better for my children.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Education: Is it worth it?

     Here I sit at the computer early in the morning while my wife lays asleep in bed doing some major thinking in my brain, Education: Is it worth it for myself?  I find myself on the precipice of just giving up over a lack of passing algebra once again.  I am very frustrated at spending my money on this class and not being able to pass it.  Since I must retake algebra again, this will now be my 5th time.    I am asking myself this question, is it worth spending my money on a class that I cannot pass when I have a child on the way?  The answer I keep coming up with is no.  I am literally sick and tired of putting my heart and soul into my dreams, into my education, only to keep getting let down time after time.

     I am honestly tired of being told to "keep trying", or to "never give up."  Lets be realistic here, everyone is good at something, algebra is one of my weaknesses.  Since a weakness stands in my way, I see no way of overcoming the weakness.  I put my heart and soul , mind and spirit, along with lots of prayer into passing this course this time only to once again come up short. 

     As I sit here and type this I wonder if God is even there for me, or if he even heard my prayers?  I feel my life is currently at the crossroads and I do not know which way to look for direction.  Do I want to keep going and try to achieve something that is unattainable?  Or, do I want to stop and be realistic and stray from the path of education and just work at a job and bring home a decent wage for my family?  The fact is, I do not know what to do.  Everytime I honestly put my heart and soul into something, everytime I feel that I have the confidence that I can achieve something in life, the door is constantly slammed shut in my face.  Well I am tired of having the door slammed in my face.  Maybe it is time to take the door off the hinges and throw it away and be realistic with my future.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Year of Change

     A while ago I made a blog post titled 2012: A Year Of Change? and made a list of some of the changes that I wanted to make this year.  So far, a few of those changes that I wanted to see happen have now come to fruition.  In no particular order here they are:

1.  I am now 4 classes away from completing my Associates degree.  In January 2013 I will be halfway through my degree.  Not many people in my family can say that they have accomplished this.  I am very proud of this and it has been a lot of hard work and frustration along the way, but I am half way to achieving my goal and life long dream of finally becoming a school teacher.  Also, I know that I will be able to provide a living for my future family.

2.  Speaking of family, this topic is next.  My wife and I are expecting our first child nex year.  I look forward to the impending days of fatherhood and raising a child together with my beautiful wife, with our help, and the help of a wonderful Heavenly Father, (and family too), I know that we will be able to do this.  I am not a parent yet, but from what I have seen and talked to other parents too, being a parent is not always easy but it is worth it.  Former LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball once said that  "A home is a haven against the storms and troubles of life."  I want my children and neices and nephews and all family and friends to know that my home will be a sanctuary to where they can come to with anything, and the spirit will always be there.

3.  This was probably my biggest concern for 2012, one that has caused me a lot of emotions over the last year or so.  I have wanted a new job.  I am proud and happy to report that August 31, 2012 will be my last day with my current employer.  I am not going to sit here and bash my current employer.  That would not be the right thing to do.  As unhappy I was with my job, I was very grateful to be employed in this economy.  The fact is, I knew it was time for a change.  I graduated high school in 1997 and obtained my first real job in 1998 in the retail industry.  This is all I have been doing for 14 years now and I just felt that it was time for a change.  I heard a piece of advice on television several years ago and for some reason it has stuck with me ever since..."The day you wake up and hate your job, you know it is time for a change."  Well it is time for a change and I am now making those changes. 

     The next several months will bring wonderful changes to my life and I look forward to those changes with much anticipation, and I wonder where the Lord will lead my life next.  As one door closes, another opens.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


     As you can all guess by the title of my post, I am going to be a father.  This time next year, I will really have a reason to celebrate Father's Day.  I am very excited that my wife and I are expecting, but also scared.  I am scared that I am not going to be a good enough father, or role model for my child.  I am scared that I will not live up to the standards of what a father will be.  I do know one thing, I look to the future of raising this child with my wife and applying the principals of the gospel to fatherhood, or I should say parenthood. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Visit Home

     Recently I had the opportunity to fly back home to Pennsylvania for 3 weeks to visit my family and friends that still live there.  While I mostly hung out with my family and only went a few places to visit, it was the fact that I got to return "home" and visit everyone. 

     I did get to hang out with my two best friends, Brian and Ellen.  With Brian I attended church with him, while Ellen and I went to a Pittsburgh Pirates game.  For the Pirates game we got there a bit late (3rd inning) as the 2012 Pittsburgh Arts Festival was also happening) and even though my father gave us the tickets and we had a free parking pass we could not find the lot for which we were assigned to park.  After driving around for a long time we finally found the parking lot and went into PNC Park and watched the game.  We had fourth row on the left field.  Thank you Ellen for attending the game with me and it was awesome to spend time with you.

     I also got to attend my old ward back in Pennsylvania.  It was great to see everybody again, including the person who re-baptized me into the church in 2009.  Larry you are one of my fellow Brothers-in-Christ and my thoughts and prayers are always with you.  I also attended a family reunion while there.  My aunt on my mom's side throws a family reunion every year and it was a pleasant afternoon getting to see people whom I had not seen in years.

     My father and I got to take my two oldest nephews to Kirtland, Ohio and to visit the Kirtland Temple.  My oldest nephew who is not of my faith got to see the temple and visit some of the historic sites that are offered, he even asked some really great questions.  My other nephew, I hope he remembers this visit, as i look forward to attending his baptism when he turns 8 in two years.  I enjoyed my visit home and I hope that I get to come back next year and see everybody again. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

From Online to Campus

     Life certainly is moving right along for me.  In two weeks I return back home to Pennsylvania to visit my family and friends once again.  I am truly excited at the chance to visit once again with everybody.  What I am also excited about is the opportunity I will have later this year as I finish my Associates Degree and then transfer to University of Alaska-Anchorage to obtain my Bachelors Degree for Elementary Education. 

     In just 2 more years I will finally be able to say that I have accomplished my life long dream of becming a school teacher.  Granted, it will be happening a bit later in life than I originally planned it but hey as the old saying goes, "better late than never."  I owe a lot of this to my wife for motivating me to return to school shortly after I moved up to Alaska.  I also owe this to my favorite teacher of all time, the man who has inspired me to become a former 3rd grade teacher Mr. Macuga.  I know that if I can be half the teacher that he is, then I will have truly succeeded as a teacher. 

     Receiving my Associates Degree will be very gratifying for myself.  I never thought in all of my life that I could ever achieve something like this.  Truth be told, I always thought of myself as working in a grocery store all of my life and never being able to achieve my goals and dreams.  One of the other reasons why I want this is because I want to be able to provide a life for my family when my wife and I start to have children, and truth be told, working at Walmart is not going to provide me that opportunity.  So here I sit almost halfway through my goals, with a big smile on my face from my hardwork.  Hardwork does pay off.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mormons Are Christians

With the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the news a lot recently and will continue to be in the news because of Mitt Romney(LDS church member) running for President of the United States of America I have decided to post this brief synopsis concerning the LDS church beliefs:

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be found at every level of society — in business and charity, education and the sciences, political parties and government, the entertainment industry and news media.
Describing the character of Latter-day Saints, Newsweek magazine wrote: “No matter where Mormons live, they find themselves part of a network of mutual concern; in Mormon theology everyone is a minister of a kind, everyone is empowered in some way to do good to others, and to have good done unto them: it is a 21st century covenant of caring. This caring is not limited to Church members alone, but extends far beyond.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the fourth largest Christian church in America. More than half of its 14 million members live outside the United States. Yet despite the faith’s growth and presence, survey results continue to show that relatively few people are familiar with Mormon beliefs.
As an institution, the Church has the responsibility to publicly and clearly articulate its official teachings. In turn, reporters can help inform the public by accurately reporting on these doctrines. But in doing so journalists should be aware of some common pitfalls. For instance, reporters pressed for time tend to take peripheral aspects of the faith and place them front and center as if they were vital tenets of belief. Additionally, sincere commentators often overemphasize what others see as “different” about Latter-day Saints at the expense of highlighting the Church’s most fundamental doctrines in their reporting. Unfortunately, as many members attest, this kind of journalism paints a distorted picture of the Church and continues to confuse the public.
Despite these complications, the Church welcomes honest inquiry from all types of media outlets. The Church expects journalists to be accurate and honest and to focus on the faith as it is lived and believed by its members. The Church discourages sensationalized and misleading journalism that accentuates abstract ideas that do not reflect the beliefs, teachings and practices of the Church’s global membership.
What Are the Core Beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
The founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, wrote, “The fundamental principles of our religion are … concerning Jesus Christ that He died was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”
In addition to the above, Latter-day Saints believe unequivocally that:
1. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of our loving Heavenly Father.
2. Christ’s Atonement allows mankind to be saved from their sins and return to live with God and their families forever.
3. Christ’s original Church as described in the New Testament has been restored in modern times.
1. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of our loving Heavenly Father
Latter-day Saints believe God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save all mankind from their sins (see John 3:16). God is a loving Heavenly Father who knows His children individually, hears and answers their prayers, and feels compassion toward them. Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are two separate beings but along with the Holy Ghost (Spirit) are one in will, purpose and love.
Latter-day Saints worship Jesus Christ as their Savior and Redeemer. He is central to the lives of Church members. They accept His grace and mercy; they seek to follow His example by being baptized (see Matthew 3:13-17), praying in His holy name (see Matthew 6:9-13), partaking of the sacrament (communion) (see Luke 22:19-20), doing good to others (see Acts 10:38) and bearing witness of Him through both word and deed (see James 2:26).
2. Christ’s Atonement allows mankind to be saved from their sins and return to live with God and their families forever.
Latter-day Saints believe that God has a plan for His children to return to live with Him and become “joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). For members of the Church, Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is central to God’s plan for our happiness. Although humans make mistakes and sin, Mormons view this mortal life as an opportunity to progress and learn. By following Christ’s teachings, embracing His mercy and accepting baptism and other sacraments, Mormons believe they are cleansed from sin through Christ’s grace and can return to live with God and their families forever.
3. Christ’s original Church as described in the New Testament has been restored in modern times.
Members believe that Christ established His Church anciently on the “foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 2:20; see also Ephesians 4:11-14) with “one faith, [and] one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). They believe this foundation of “one faith” was gradually undermined after the death of Christ’s apostles. As a result, the original foundation of authority to lead the Church was lost and needed to be restored (see Acts 3:21). Today, members preach that the Lord has indeed restored His Church with living apostles and prophets, starting with the founding prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith.
Church members understand that families are the most important unit of society. Accordingly, those who follow Christ and keep His commandments are promised to live with their families forever in divinely instituted eternal relationships.

Are Mormons Christian?
Yes. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Christian church but is neither Catholic nor Protestant. Rather, it is a restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ as originally established by the Savior in the New Testament of the Bible. The Church does not embrace the creeds that developed in the third and fourth centuries that are now central to many other Christian churches.
Latter-day Saints believe God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save all mankind from death and their individual sins. Jesus Christ is central to the lives of Church members. They seek to follow His example by being baptized (see Matthew 3:13-17), praying in His holy name (see Matthew 6:9-13), partaking of the sacrament (see Luke 22:19-20), doing good to others (see Acts 10:38) and bearing witness of Him through both word and deed (see James 2:26). The only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ.

Do Mormons believe in the Bible?
Yes. The Church reveres the Bible as the word of God, a sacred volume of scripture. Latter-day Saints cherish its teachings and engage in a lifelong study of its divine wisdom. Moreover, during worship services the Bible is pondered and discussed. Additional books of scripture — including the Book of Mormon— strengthen and reinforce God’s teachings through additional witnesses and provide moving accounts of the personal experiences many individuals had with Jesus Christ. According to Church apostle M. Russell Ballard, “The Book of Mormon does not dilute nor diminish nor deemphasize the Bible. On the contrary, it expands, extends, and exalts it.”

What is the Book of Mormon?

In addition to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It contains the writings of ancient prophets, giving an account of God’s dealings with the peoples on the American continent. For Latter-day Saints it stands alongside the Old and New Testaments of the Bible as holy scripture.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Missionary Moment I Never Knew I Had

One never knows when they will have a missionary effort to share the gospel with friends, family, or even strangers.  My time as a member missionary has not gone so well.  My chances to share this gospel that has brought so much joy to my life has not gone so well.  That is until recently, I had a missionary moment and I was not even aware of it until my father told me.  I am going to change the names of people as I do not want to name anyone by their first name.  When I lived at home there was a girl I was dating and her daughter was introduced to the church through me.  We would often talk about the church and everything it has meant to me in my life.  She would attend church with my father a few times (this was during my inactivity), after attending a few times she decided to quit.  Fast forward to present time.  The daughter ran into my father and asked if he still attended church.  My father said yes and offered to take her to church if she would like.  The answer was yes.  Over the course of the last few months she has been attending church and then began taking the missionary discussions.  After gaining a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, she was baptized on March 3, 2012.  I am proud to have her as a sister in the gospel and I know she will be blessed as she begins her new life.  I am returning home in June for a visit and cannot wait to hear all about her journey and attend church with her for a few weeks.  When you least expect someone to accept the gospel, Heavenly Father will throw a curveball your way and someone will accept it.  Do not be afraid to be a member missionary, you never know whose life you may impact.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

1 Year Wedding Anniversary

     This blog post is a little bit late, but as the old saying goes, better late than never.  A little over one year ago I married the love of my life Beverli for time and all eternity in the temple.  With one year gone by in our marriage I still say that this was the best decision of my life, to not only marry Beverli, but to marry her in the temple so that we can have each other, and our future children as a eternal family. 
     Every relationship, regardless of what kind it is (marriage, friendship, co-workers) has their ups and downs, but it is how you learn from the downs (or the bad things) and use them to grow as a couple and an individual.  This is what my wife and I have done and continue to do everyday as a couple and it does indeed bring us closer together. 
     I just want to admit, although I am very hard headed and stubborn and have a massive ego and do not like to be proven wrong (then again who doesn't) I want to thank my wife for putting up with me and loving me enough to marry me.  I love you Beverli...1 year down...An eternity still to go!