Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I like to give my opinion, especially on things that don't particularly matter. I've noticed this topic has come up a lot lately, and the odds are you have an opinion on it to:

Now, before you try to tell me either 1) that Edward is the greatest thing ever 2) that Jacob is the greatest thing ever 3) that Twilight is the best book in the world or 4) that you hate it, let me throw something else out there:

While I have to admit that I'm curious to see how well Hollywood can transform Cedric Diggory into Edward Cullen, I must honestly say I don't love him. I don't hate him either, but I think Stephenie Meyer destroyed any chance he and I had the thirteenth time she described his smell. Seriously. But whether our beloved BYU English department polished Stephenie's writing into something worth reading isn't really something I want to talk about (though I will mention that at least half a dozen people have promised me that if I can just make it to the last quarter of the book, it gets "better." Take that for what it is).

I think the more important matter at hand here is the question of making a book into a movie. I have friends who have made hobbies out of making movies (and have attended film school, for that matter) and we've talked about it, and I think I've come to a sound opinion on the matter.

When a book becomes a movie, it ceases to be a book. If you go in to any movie theather expecting to see what you imagined, even if you're the author, you're not going to get it. Think about it: In a book, you can say something that the main character is thinking, but how on earth can you depict it as clearly on screen as the author did in the book?

There are, however, certain things movies can do that are impossible in books. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a motion picture speaks volumes. No descriptions — if any medium understands "show, don't tell," it's film.

So on Nov. 12 the world gets a new movie. Thousands of Twilight fans will hate it and thousands more will love it.

I think I'll stick to Harry Potter. I like Cedric better than Edward anyway.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Horrah for Israel!

You always hear that miracles still happen, but there's nothing better than when you see a sweet little tender mercy in your life — or in the lives of people you love, as the case may be.

I've sat through my share of mission farewells in the last year or two, and at every one of them a little piece of me has been sad to see the missionary go. Of course, I'd rather have my friends serving the Lord full-time than doing anything else, but it still hurts a little.

They say that sacrifice is giving up something good for something better. I felt like I was making pretty big sacrifices when two of my best friends were called to serve — Dave Page left for Portugal in June of 2007 and Nic Moseley went to Brazil a few months later.

(that's me, Dave, Nic and Laura Bessey [Sommer] back in '05)

But last Wednesday, a short e-mail threw everything into perspective.

One woman's life was changed because the Lord used two of his modern-day stripling warriors from Rexburg, Idaho to reach her. Here's the story in Elder Page's own words (complete with Portuguese influences ... When he spoke 100% English he was a much better speller):

"Italla is the daughter of Ivone, a long time investigator from Benfica that couldn´t be baptised because she was waiting on papers from Brasil to get legally married. Italla came to portugal to visit last winter and we taught her several lessons. At one point she got an answer to her prayer about the Book of Mormon and we marked a baptisimal date, but she wasn´t able to keep it because she decided she was going to go back to Brasil to study. She decided and left within a matter of 3 days and so we couldn´t do much about it. We mailed a reference card to the missionaries in Brasil but they never contacted her so eventually we had the mission office send and e-mail. Her mom, Ivone said that Italla still wanted to be baptised but couldn´t find the missionaries, and they never got around to finding her. We prayed for weeks that the missionaries would run into her but then I got transferred and it all just kind of fell through the cracks...What a tender mercy to hear that Elder Mosely found her."

Elder Moseley found her! Dave's dad gave me a little more background:

"When [Italla] heard Nick was from Rexburg Idaho she asked, 'Do you know an Elder Page who is serving in Portugal?' The rest is history!"

The tender mercies of the Lord really ARE over all His chosen people (see 1 Nephi 1:20), and He really DOES bless those people through "small and simple means"! He prepared Italla, and the odds of everything working out the way they did are slim — even close to none — and yet, they did. That's the miracle — that's my boys.

And suddenly, sending them a few thousand miles away doesn't feel like much of a sacrifice.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Good Day

I've had a lot of good days in my life, but yesterday was definitely one of the better. Let's just put it this way — I started it in the same room as these people:

Spent an hour in the same room as this man:

And finished it with four of my favorite people in the world.

(Note: That picture wasn't taken yesterday.)

All members of BYU stakes were invited to the Marriot Center for Regional Conference, and President Uchtdorf, Elder Packer, Elder Marlin K. Jensen (my brother's mission president and current member of the Seventy) and Ann M. Dibb spoke to us. Elder Holland spoke at the CES fireside for young adults, and because I'm in Provo I jumped at the chance to actually be there, not just watching a broadcast.

And I went to Kendall's and played with those four awesome people for an hour or so before going to bed. Kendall and Roxanne went to a wedding and I went over to make sure Scotty and Ty got showers and Devin and Kalli made it to school.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a difference five years can make

Today while I sat at Sonic Drive-in waiting for my $3 order of cheddar bites, I found myself thumbing through my wallet. It's fun to do sometimes — I'm a bit of a pack rat.

I found my Dependent I-Card from when I was 16. I found my MHS Activity Card from senior year. I found an old iTunes gift card and a new one I haven't redeemed yet. But somewhere between my Delta SkyMiles Card and a Paul Mitchell business card, I found a small slip of paper that said this in faded ink:

Beehive Federal Credit Union
Date: 12/14/03
Time: 12:11
Location: 65 South Center
Rexburg, ID
Withdrawl: $60.00
From Savings
Current Balance: $120.58

I laughed a little when I saw "$120.58." I am a poor, starving college student. But — I strained to remember — was there really a time that I was that poor?

That got me thinking. Dec. 14, 2003, was only five years ago. I was just starting high school. I was sophomore class president and worried about putting together an awesome dance. I couldn't wait to be old enough to date, and it felt like 16 was decades away. I didn't worry about money or time or what I was going to cook for dinner.

Another five years before that, I was 10. My parents were building a house and I didn't want to move to Rexburg. I was afraid the other kids would be mean to me or that I'd get a bad teacher. I was trying to learn how to do my own hair — and failing.

Now that I'm older, I move at least twice a year. I've done my own hair thousands of times and I can hardly remember what it was like to not be able to date. But I worry about having enough money or good enough grades. I worry about where I'll live next semester. I worry about choosing a good man.

How much, then, will I change in the next five years? Ten? Twenty? Where do I see myself? Sonic was particularly busy today, so I had a lot of time to think about it. I have a plan, but if there's one thing I've learned in the last five years it's that life rarely follows even the best laid-out plan. I do know a couple things, though. I see a few specific things coming:

Internships ...

... graduation ...

... the Temple ...

... a family.

I think the best is yet to come.