Thursday, May 22, 2014

I'm 60 :)

Really?  I remember how I used to view people that turned 60.  That is scary.  Knowing your life is more over than beginning causes one to reflect.  It goes so fast and so many things have happened.  Getting married to a wonderful woman, raising five of the best kids ever, having jobs and relationships that I have loved, what could be better?  Other than those times I was learning how not to be such a jerk and being more kind, (most of you know that is still a work in progress) this has been a wonderful ride.  I am so grateful for good parents that raised me to believe in God, His Son and the Holy Ghost.  Even those years I spent away from the Church, I knew it was true and that I needed to change.  Many of my promised blessings were passed over but how wonderful to know that because of Him, I can have as many chances as necessary to return and live with Him again.  I know this and I know it for each one of us.  We can find Him if we are humble and seek to change from who we are to something better.  What is difficult becomes easy when we show our determination to do what we know is right.  I am a lucky boy.


I think of my good mom who fasted and prayed many days for me as I hitchhiked across the western United States and how I was protected from some events that could have been pretty bad.  Mom is suffering from Alzheimer's disease but she is and will be the same loving and kind person she was before the onset of this disease.  I know mom will be very excited when her time to move across the veil has come.  Dad has shown his true colors many times as a loving, kind and patient person who dies a little bit when thinking he may have to let someone else take care of his sweetheart. I love their example and that they had the patience to raise one such as I.  I am a lucky boy.

Goose egg and a drink

I know what is important to me now.  God, my wife, family and sharing what I know with anyone that has an interest.  I love people that have different opinions, even within my own faith, because I know we each have our own journey and if we are kind and respectful, we can still have a wonderful relationship.  I always remind myself that if the Savior is true, no one is loved more than another.  He wants everything he has to be ours; no matter how we are currently living, where or what circumstance we are living in or what color our skin is.  I am still a very selfish man but I am trying to be better.  I am a lucky boy.

Yea, I'm all that...OK not so much


My five children have brought me so much happiness.  I know the way they turned out to be thoughtful, caring individuals is the result of having their own good mom.  Nancy has been the rock of our family.  She knows what is right and will live it no matter the consequence.  Nancy has been the core of helping me to be a better person and to recognize where I need to change.  I love her.  Every one of our children has somehow found someone who we can love just as if we had raised them.  Each child has a wonderful supportive spouse that builds them up and we love them all so much.  Another blessing is the soon to be 20 grandchildren we love to spend time with.  Every song, play, recital, art work, game or talent they share brings joy.  Having them live within 30 minutes from our house in any direction - I am a lucky boy.

Having the opportunity to serve a mission is wonderful.  I am the designated driver for the mission nurse and get to meet lots of missionaries.  I have the opportunity to share my testimony of the restored gospel while waiting at the pharmacy or doctors office .  I am able to share experiences on this blog and hope it is one of joy and happiness.  I have learned that my bad attitude, sadness, or feelings of inadequacy are a direct result of my choices.  It is wonderful to have agency and decide how I will react to any situation, not to the person or persons that may have created the situation.  I don't know where I would have served if I had gone at the age of 19 but I do know that at any time we can begin to have the change of heart that will guide us back to our Father in Heaven.  He loves us all the same and always - I am a lucky boy.

The unhappy years...

I am grateful for all of you.  Having family, friends and soon to be friends brings me joy and happiness.  Having a testimony that after the apostasy there was a need for a restoration and that a young boy had enough faith to ask the question of which church to join, brings me great joy.  To know that God the Father, His Son, even Jesus Christ, bearing witness through the Holy Ghost appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the keys of His kingdom to once again have prophets, seers and revelators on the earth is a blessing.  I know Thomas S Monson is a prophet of God, he guides this church with direct revelation from the rock of this gospel - Jesus Christ and the gift of revelation.  That Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane, on the cross at Golgotha and was resurrected on the third day, I know to be true.  Because of this, I too, along with everyone else who has lived on this earth will be resurrected to whatever state of glory we will be most comfortable in.  I marvel and joy in His love for me, a weak and lowly man.  I am a very, very blessed boy!

Ah, the 70's

Now then, when you get to be my age, you pick up a lot of baggage.  While no one has to carry a load of baggage heavier than we each choose to carry (yes, He will lighten our burdens but it is always our choice what we off load), it is good to find other methods to carry said baggage.  Here in Uganda we have bodabodas and bikes.  How about a few examples?

This guy has two rows of eggs stacked high that almost ended up on the road.  We were in the usual traffic jam and a man in front of our vehicle decides to turn around.  He turns right and the bodaboda hit the side of the car while loaded with the eggs.  Once he hits the side of the car the eggs start to tip precariously but another bodaboda came up and pushed them upright.  He is smiling so all is well.

This bodaboda seems to have a wide load.  I have had the same thing said about me when I turn sideways and you see the belly.  You have to give them as much room as a car when you are passing.

Not just bodabodas have baggage.  You see a lot of bikes that are hauling goods to the market.  These are matooke bananas.  In Uganda it is steam-cooked and the mashed meal is one of the national dishes of the country.  It is typically eaten with a sauce made of vegetables, ground peanut, or some type of meat (goat or beef). They never turn yellow but are processed and eaten this way.

The jerry cans are used to carry water.  He is hauling them somewhere.

When you have a lot of baggage sometimes you need a break.  Here is the icecream man.  Just let him know what flavor you want.

I have no idea what this is.  Impressive that he got them all on the bodaboda.

Here you have a a couple of riders and then you see the stork waiting until the next crash for dinner.  Our guide book said that 5 bobaboda drivers a day lose their life.  The way they weave in and out of traffic has me believing the statistic.

Best cakes, delivered right to your door...

Often the baggage is a family affair, we have seen 4 plus the driver but getting the camera to cooperate is often the problem.  It is now against the law for more than one passenger and they must wear a helmet.  Other than the helmet, nothing has changed so far.

Update, when I woke up this morning to go on my morning walk this is what I found.  A wall that said "Do Not Urinate Here - Fine $50,000 Sh."  A little background, here in Africa there are very few public bathrooms so you go where you need to go.  You will then find men (and a few women) urinating wherever the need arises and so some people put up signs telling them not to go on their wall.  I think it may have something to do with the smell over time :).  At the very end Elder and Sister Hansen put happy birthday, sweet!

Just so you know I am still a work in progress, I admit I still have a problem with people telling me what to do...  I bet she makes me clean up my own mess.


  1. We are a very blessed group of people who know you personally as one of the best of the best! Love you! Hope you had a great birthday! XOXOX!

  2. Oh dad, I just love you so much!!

  3. LOVE YOU. I am so lucky to be a part of your family :)

  4. You are a wonderful dad and I have so much to learn from you. We love you lots and lots! (alysia)

  5. Happy Birthday you sweet, sweet and confused boy. Loved the ending on this one... helped me put you back in perspective. Wonderful testimony Elder! Love Mike/Bonnie