Welcome to my very favorite picture EVER of me and my little brother Marcus. BAHAHAHA oh my gosh it still slays me! So, we were totally lost on this dirt mountain last summer, trying to find the HOLLYWOOD sign in LA, and we whiled away the hike by having an INTENSE fiery debate about the merits of The Dark Knight. He was devoutly pro, I was obnoxiously con. Right in the middle of our fight I turned him sideways, tugged my digital camera out of his backpack (probably still sniping about how I don't CARE that the score is musical genius), and we leaned our heads in as close as we angrily felt we could stand, and snap! Favorite photo was born. I'm 99% positive that after we turned the camera setting to "PLAY" and laughed our heads off about how stupid we looked, we picked up exactly where we left off and waged war on each other's cinematic opinions all the way back to the car. Good, no, AWESOME times.
This is a much more typical (and aesthetically pleasing) picture of me and that bro, taken a year ago this week! That's right; Elder C hits his one year mark on his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints this week- GAAAH LONGEST FREAKING year EVER! Some of you recognize him, some of you don't. Marcus is 4 years my junior (got a wonderful brother Spencer in between us... love you too, man!), but as my parents and siblings will all whine-ily testify, Marcus left a gaping hole in our family dynamic when he took off. Oh he's living the high life, hanging out with God and all types of Latinos in the ghettos of Orlando, Florida. Good boy. We, on the other hand, miss him every day.
For those that miss him, too (or for those who do not have the pleasure of his acquaintance but would like to understand why he gets a whole post to himself), here are some of Marcus' most magical qualities, in honor of his big 1/2-way day. I haven't made an OCD-style list for a while, humor me here:
Why Marcus is Neat
- He possesses the extraordinary ability to hold comfortable and cohesive conversations with you using only quotes from Disney movies.
- He possesses the maddeningly enviable skill of making EVERY baby he meets love him instantaneously. This is achieved through
- His elastic face, which he can contort into the world's funniest looks.
- He develops really random talents, like free running (a la Casino Royale, which got him into trouble at BYU once upon a time), making spectacular facebook graffiti drawings, and who can forget his Oscar-worthy imitation of Gollum in The Two Towers???
- He is thoughtful, loyal, genuine, working hard, and growing weekly in the gospel. It's so fun to read.
- It's even MORE fun to read when he writes home gems like these (oh yes. A list within a list):
- "YOU have the choice to be happy, and to be positive. Same thing with the people. Sometimes you just want to punch someone on first contact, but we need to see the good in everyone."
- "HOLY SHNIKIES THE TEMPLE'S GOOD!"
- "I've started to bash again. I know it's wrong. I can't help it, because it's so dang fun! E. C________ = 2, Adventists = 0."
- "So with a combination of Vicodin and Barricade the Decepticon, My happiness level is plaining out."
- "Man spinach is good. It's healthy, tastes good (to me), and it goes well with everything. Except ice cream and Kellogs Power Ranger's Fruit Snacks (which are delicious and only 79 Cents here at Walmart). Tangent."
- "Feliz Navidad, WHITEYS!"
.....oh..... Hey big internet. Haven't talked to you in..... one whole year. :) It's my mission birthday. I'm one years old! I'll die when I'm two, but what a fruitful amazing God-saving way of life I've been blessed to have these past 12 months!
I don't know any of you. At least I don't think so, I'm kind of writing this in an awkward state of thought right now, because I'm not sure if this is going to be reached by the masses, (hopefully not) or by some stalker-like aunts who love to view the growing brains of their nieces and nephews. (Auntie Cheryl!!!) I hope you're being good to my beloved sister Lindsey, she's an amazing person you know! (*Lindsey-the-Editor's note: I'm pretty sure most of you are my stalker-like aunties and co., but I read on my secret counter thingy that people in the Phillipines, Denmark, England, Korea, and Brasil have all visited this site. Welcome, one and all!)
So these blog gigs? They're supposed to entice and persuade people out in the lone and dreary world to do better and to make people pause and say, "Man, that guy's wise in the ways of _____." I rather doubt this awe will happen today, but I'll take a whackity-whack. So I'll share what I know, share a little bit of what I've learned, and share the things that are important in this life, (which subsequently slide in perfectly into the world hereafter).
A.) Serving a mission in the Florida Orlando Mission has saved my life. Saved it spiritually, and saved it eternally. Before I became an "elder" I was revealed as a good, humble (*Lindsey-the-Editor's note: Haha.) mormon-boy, who did what he was told, and tried his best. But inside I had so many doubts, questions, bad expectations, and "come on give me a break's." But while serving a mission, I've learned that EVERY question HAS an answer. EVERY doubt HAS an evidence. EVERY "thing" that is hard to believe HAS a reason for being hard; it's a test of faith, and if we are WORTHY, and READY, we will understand and receive enlightenment on the subject. That is what I've learned most of all I believe. Let's take an example. The good ol' Book of Mormon.
No, it's not the Mormon-Bible. We believe whole-heartedly in the Bible. The BOM is another testament of Jesus Christ that was written by the Prophets in the ancient American continent. I've run into a lot of people who have said, "ehhhhh... nooo... bleh.." to its message. I don't blame a lot of people. It's kind of hard to believe in ANOTHER book, when so many churches have OTHER books: Muslims - The Qur'an, Jews - Torah, Jehovah's Witnesses - New World Translation, Christianity - The Bible. To me, it's kind of wierd that God would send another book in our day.
BUT BEHOLD! :) He did! This is my outlook on this nice book. We have soooooooooo many religions today. It's hard to choose. Many believe in Christ that he was the Son of God, and there are MANY that don't. The religions that don't are actually on the incline. God KNEW that people would be confused, lose faith in the Son of God, and go off the straight and narrow. So what did he do? He revealed ANOTHER record that is physical tangible evidence, which one can read and pray about, and from which one can recieve a testimony that Jesus IS the Christ, our Elder Brother, and The Way. And this record was kept for who? Us. Us in these hard troubling times. Times where we lose faith because we're losing jobs, moneys, hope, and an over-all happiness in the world.
But I know that God loves us, and he will NEVER leave us here by ourselves. That is why I'm here on a mission. To share this message of hope and happiness with everyone. And I'm not coming home. "Nope-itty nopeitty nope." (Ratatouille) As one of the modern-day prophets wrote: "We have a great work to do, and we CAN NOT come down." And in this work, my life has been emdified and saved in the loving arms of God. (Lindsey note: You can always tell when Marcus is in a hurry, his spelling tanks :)
2) As Abraham Lincoln said, and as quoted in the movie Pollyanna (Good movie! Buy it! Netflix it! Download it illegally!), "When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you surely will."
LINDSEY!! I'll write more later today! I gtg shop! BRB!