Sunday, October 7, 2007

General Conference

General conference weekend was great as always. It was good to hear the prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley speak again. Once again I find myself wanting to be better and completely change my life. Hopefully that lasts longer than four days this time.
I spent the weekend in South Jordan after going to a pretty uneventful and quiet mission reunion. On Saturday night, my four year old niece Kaylee had a sleep over at my parents house and asked if she could sleep in the same room as me.
Knowing very well that that would mean a night of kicking and rolling over and having to get up to go to the bathroom every hour on the hour, I obliged and we turned in around 10:45.
Kaylee asked me to tell stories about when I was "at the mission," which she surprisingly had the attention span for much longer than I ever would have anticipated. I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Ukraine Kyiv mission and returned a little over two years ago. So I told Kaylee about Ukraine and what I did there and after I explained that we went around and knocked on people's doors to talk about Jesus, she asked me over and over to tell her specific stories.
I told her about the first time I ever went door-to-door and an old lady came out and yelled at us and told us that she knew we were really just there to sneak in and turn off her toilet, which Kaylee surprisingly did not find funny but rather was quite concerned. "She probably thought you were robbers," she informed me, after which I commended her intelligence. Then in her four year old wisdom she said quite thoughtfully, "you really should go back and tell her that you're not robbers. Then maybe she'll let you come in and talk about Jesus."
I stayed awake for a while after she fell asleep, partly because no matter how many times I turned her body straight, she always ended up with her feet painfully digging into my side, but also because I couldn't stop thinking about how much I miss the people in Ukraine, even the ones that thought I was just there to turn off toilets. And I wished that I could go back and experience some of the wonderful things I experienced while there. But then I remembered a talk I heard one year ago about embracing the present and that "the best year of your life should be the last one you lived if you're doing things right," and I wondered what I'm doing now that later I'll nostalgically look back on.
I guess I don't really have any type of conclusive ending to tie up all the loose strings of my thoughts tonight. Just some impressions to get me through another week.


  1. Thanks for that, Eli. As always, you are a great storyteller.

  2. That was great Eli! Your humor's awesome.

  3. I really appreciated that post. Remember how you wrote that article about Hunters and Gatherers? Alyssa quoted it to me the other day. You are very insightful and I am grateful.

  4. My mom served her mission in British Columbia, and she tells mission stories about the neighbor kids that would beg and plead to come to her apartment to flush her toilets, because they didn't have running water and were mesmerized by the swirling. May your Ukrainian lady and my moms neighbor children never get together. Or, match made in paradise? Also, how cosmic to read this old post on general conference weekend.