Sunday, October 26, 2008

Slip Slidin' Away

It's been a big year so far and with just over two months remaining I fully anticipate it to go out with a bang. It hasn't been all fun and games--it's actually been a pretty hard year for me in a lot of ways--but I can say it's been my best year. I've mentioned before that my biggest goal in life is to be able to say at any given time that the best year of my life is the last one I've lived; as you may have picked up as a theme of this blog, I believe we control that, no matter what may happen to us. The trials can be insurmountable or things can seem to be just smooth sailin' and under either scenario, it really can still be our best year. I have great friends who have had trials in the last year that would make many of us embarrassed that we ever complain about anything, but due to their ability to focus on the blessings, these are the same people that I'm sure would tell you that despite the hardships, they've had a really great year; of course they have--they've chosen to.

So despite some really big challenges, it's been a pretty darn good year. I am in the process of making a decision right now that, unless something dramatically changes or one of you calls me before lunch time Monday morning with a desperate plea to change my mind, I feel I've been guided into in some way. I've been thinking a lot over the past few months about what I'm going to do next summer in terms of legal internships. There are many options to consider but for a 1L law student who is still largely unsure about what he wants to end up doing, it's been a bit stressful. I finally found a possibility of a 5 week externship in Ukraine that I was pretty excited about and I had planned to try to get into that at the end of October. Two weeks ago I found out about a law and religion program through various legal offices of the church throughout the world. The offices deal with the legal issues the church is facing in various countries and also work with governments to promote religious freedoms for their people as we've been so blessed to have here.

Last week I submitted my resume and cover letter indicating my interest in the program. I wasn't really sure if it was what I wanted to do and the externship in Ukraine still sounded very appealing to me but I thought it would be good to consider. On Thursday I interviewed and I didn't think the interview went very well and so thought that the decision would probably be made for me. But on Friday I got a call from the law and religion center offering me a spot in their Moscow, Russia office next summer.

So the last two days have been a bit overwhelming for me, weighing pros and cons, and wondering how the heck this worked out. After talking to my parents, friends, and through a lot of prayer, I have decided to accept it (I have to give them my decision by tomorrow). So there it is. Looks like I'm going to Russia.

The internship is an incredible opportunity and I'm so thankful that it's available to me. I will spend about 6 weeks in Moscow (probably beginning around May 1st) and then I'll come back to Utah and work in the church's law and religion office for the rest of the summer helping research and write a casebook or something similar. Before then I hope to really improve my Russian as it's not that awesome right now:)

Part of me, the part I don't like as much, has really tried to get me to turn this down over the past two days. That part of me has gotten the best of the best part of me too much in my life, and as I watch another year start slip slidin' away (thanks Paul Simon!), I've decided to do something brave and take a bit of a chance (if you consider moving to an eastern European country that you've never been to by yourself with minimal ability to speak the language "a bit of a chance" as I do). So here I go! Gone are the days that I fail to sieze the day! Well . . . at least mostly gone; I can't give up laziness just like that.

It Just Gets Stranger~


  1. You will love Moscow! I lived there for a while teaching English (before the mission).The people are hard-working and sincere, the food is...well, you know how it is...delicious!, there is a TON to do and see in Moscow, and the weather is beautiful that time of year. I am so jealous...

  2. Wow, Eli--Congratulations!! That sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime and I'm so excited for you! I admire your bravery in making such a decision; I can see how it would be difficult and scary, but I am sure you will do a great job and have many amazing experiences.

  3. eli! I think it's a great decision. And not just because UW and I are coming to visit while you are there! I think the people there will be amazing and take great care of you! Just please don't lose your passport!

  4. What an exciting opportunity! I like your idea that every year should be you best year - very inspiring.

  5. Wow! What a wonderful opportunity! Congratulations. If you can survive Ukraine, I'm sure you can surive Russia. Speaking of Ukraine, we really haven't forgotten...we've all been sick around here. Hopefully this week we'll get some questions to you and can work something out on a time.

  6. Eli, am I the only one who is NOT happy about this decision? For one, you did not ask permission from me.......and two, you did not invite me!
    Just kidding, I am so excited for you as well! You are doing so many great things and I know I sound like a nerd, but we are all really proud of you!

  7. Oh - it was really funny when I first pulled up this post because Kamree and Jace came running up and saw the picture you have on there and they both yelled out "It's Disneyland!" I was laughing so hard! So to them, you are not going to Moscow, your going to Disneyland! The whole rest of the day, Jace kept looking at me and saying "Disneyland is fun - huh mom?"