Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear Lee. #2


Lee, you didn`t write me this week... I hope you`re okay.  I love you and I`ve had a good week. Lots of disappointments, but a great week anyway.
         Take care of yourself, okay?  I love you, and I can`t wait to be with you. 9 weeks. Hang in there.
                                             Love you.                   Gregory


My dearest Greg,
I'm so sorry I didn't write to you last week.  I was out of town, and I didn't have my computer with me because it was a trip I wasn't planning to take.

Last Thursday - Saturday, I was in Flagstaff, AZ to tour NAU.  Jaz and I both went, since she's dying to get out of Roosevelt just as much as I am.  The tour went well.  The school is absolutely gorgeous.  It looks like camping.  The buildings on campus seem to come from nowhere.  It looks like you're in the middle of the mountains until suddenly you aren't.  It's pretty great.

But I don't think I'll end up there.  While I loved the campus and had a great time in the few days I spent there, I'm not sold ont the academics.  And what other reason is there for choosing a college, really?  I met the chair of the English department, and while he was nice, he didn't give me any feel for the kind of things I could expect from an English education at NAU.  That was irritatiing.  I looked into the honor's program, too.  If I chose NAU, I'd definitely do the honor's program because it seems like the only way to get something close to the academically rigorous education I expect, but even that didn't sell me on the school.  The conclusion is, I am probably not going to Flagstaff.

I had a great time while I was there, though.  One of my best friends from the college program, [Name removed], goes to school there, so we spent our three days hanging out with him and a bunch of his friends. [Friend]'s great.  You'll get to meet him in December, if you're interested, because he's coming to stay wth me from the 16-20.  And his friends are hilarious, which I should have anticipated since it's Brennan.  We had a great time with them.

The unexpected part of my trip came after Flagstaff.  We woke up on Saturday, the day we were supposed to head back to Roosevellt, and decided that since we were already so close, we might as well just go to Disneyland instead.  We called Brennan and asked if he wanted to come--which, of couse, he did--and so the three of us took off for Anaheim for the next three days.

That was the part of my trip I wasn't expecting, and it was oh-so worth it.  We called Bri's mom and asked if we could stay with them for a few days, and we surprised Bri by showing up on her doorstep on Saturday night.  She was pretty excited to see us, and we were excited to see her, too.  We spent Sunday and Monday in Disneyland--luckily, they gave us all two free tickets when we were still Cast Members--and it was fabulous.  I missed it so much.  I got to see a lot of my friends, and I got to spend some time in my favorite place.

I wish pretty desperately that I could go back there.  I don't want to spend the rest of my life working at Disneyland as a costumer or an attractions host or something, but I could conceivably spend the rest of my life working for Disney and love every second of it.  And I really miss Disneyland...

We watched the Pixar Play Parade while we were at the park--my parade, from my costuming days--and the cast still knew me.  They all waved as they went by.  Sulley waved, and the Incredibles waved, and I wanted to cry a little bit.  I miss them all so much.  I'd love to have a good reason to go back to Anaheim, and to go back to work for Disney.

Anyway, that's where I was when I wasn't writing last week.  I'm sorry about that.  If I had known I was going to be gone for so long, I would have packed my laptop.  And I would have packed more clothes...  For the first time in my life, I didn't overpack for my trip to Flagstaff.  I brought exactly the clothes I needed and nothing more.  And then I extended my trip by three days.  Luckily, Bri let me use her washing machine.  Still, I looked pretty familiair.

I finished The Fountainhead.  After reading it, I see what you meant about Roark and Dominique reminding you of us.  Dominique basically is me, but with blonde hair.  I loved The Fountainhead, though not quite as much as Atlas Shrugged.  Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged is also a lot like me.  It's weird the way Ayn Rand has me pegged in her female characters...  I'm already on my second time through both books.  I am that much of a nerd...

I met Ellie this week!  I don't know if you know who that is...  She's Landon and Maren's new little girl, Elliana June Gentile.  She was born the day after your birthday, and I finally went out to see her.  She's beautiful.  She looks just like Brinlie did when she was that little.  Landon and Maren have the most adorable kids in the world.  Brinlie is my favorite, and Gauge is such a little stud.  He's 100% boy, that one.  I hope when I have kids, they're as cute as those little Gentiles.

HOLY CONFERENCE!  I loved it.  This was maybe one of my favorite sessions of General Conference ever.  But you know, whenever conference comes, I always miss President Hinckley.  I just can't help it.  I loved that man a crazy amount for someone I'd never personally met.

My favorite speaker by far was Jeffrey R. Holland from the Sunday afternoon session.  That was the most powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon I have ever heard.  I always love to listen to Brother Holland.  He doesn't mince words.  ((He also has a great vocabulary, which really thrills the English major in me...))  He speaks so powerfully.  He's not afraid to say things like "Such pathetic attempts to refute the Book of Mormon have always failed."  I loved his point about the fact that, if Joseph had fabricated the Book of Mormon, he certanly would not have held to it and refused to deny it in his final hour, when his own salvation was on the line.  He wouldn't go to meet God knowing that he had cheated Him.  His testimony was so powerful.  I wanted to stand up and cheer.  And I loved the quote from his grandfather:  "No wicked man could have written it, and no good man would unless it was true and he was commanded by God to do so."

And there were so many others...

I think my other favorite was Christopherson's talk on moral discipline.  I've developed a disgust for society lately.  People in general make me a little bit sick.  I've been dying for a glimpse of competence, of character, of integrity being practiced somewhere in the world.  His talk really focused on that, and I liked it.  I loved when he said that our heavy reliance on law to govern behavior shows how uncivilized we have become.  It's painfully true.  I also loved his point that there will never be enough rules to govern every situation, so how can we expect to survive without an individual moral discipline?

There was so much reference to the iron rod, to the safety equipment that God has given us to help us stay on the path.  There was also so much talk about love, about love as the motivator of our actions.  Love of God that motivates us to obey him.  Love of others that motivates us to serve them.  It was such a good conference!  Which talks were your favorite(s)?  I'd love to discuss it with you.  I can't wait for the conference issue of the Ensign to come out.  There are a lot of things I want to read, to understand better.

You said in your email...nine weeks.  Is that really all?  It's such a tangible, easily conceivably amount of time that I guess I can't quite accept that it's really true.

Also, I loved...Ringwood's, maybe? about softness of heart and easiness to believe.  I'm planning to cultivate a soft heart an easiness of belief in myself.  My testimony is strong, but I don't think my belief is as easy as it could be.  My heart is not as soft as it should be.  I'm going to work on that.

I'm also going to read the Book of Mormon.  I read Atlas Shrugged in a little over a week, and it's 1069 pages long in 6 pt. font.  It's a HUGE book.  I read The Fountainhead in a few days, and it's almost 700 pages.  The Book of Mormon is only 500.  I feel a little guilty for spending so much time reading everything else, and not reading my scriptures.

[Agnostic friend] sent me a book called "The God Part of the Brain."  He wants me to read it so we can discuss it because he feels like it has some valid points and he wants to know how I feel about it, with my religious background.  I don't know if I'm going to do it.  I'm not worried about it shaking my faith, but there are things I don't necessarily need to have in my head.  Plus, I think it would just turn into a heated argument with [him], and that won't help anything.

Oh, I went to the zoo this week!  I hadn't been in years, but it was really fun.  The tiger has cubs!  They're probably the cutest things I've ever seen.  I really want a tiger...

Okay, well, I'm going to wrap this up now.  It's kind of long, so hopefully it sort of makes up for my lack of email last week.  I love you, Greg.  I love you very, very much.  I was going through old files on my external harddrive last night, looking for something for my dad, and I found this document where I typed out all my saved text messages from you before my phone kicked the bucket.  They were so cute!  I miss those text messages...  I found a giant stack of pictues of you in my room while I was deep cleaning it this week, so I wasted a few hours going through pictures, and then I found that book I made you for your birthday under my bed, so I wasted a few more hours reading through that.  It made me cry a little bit.  There's been a whole lot of you in my life that past few days.

I have something I want to tell you.  I need you, Greg.  I didn't expect to ever say those words, but saying them now, I'm not ashamed of them or afraid of them.  I don't say them like a beggar, asking for your charity and knowing that I have nothing to offer in return.  I say them to you like a trader, an equal, knowing that what I will give you will pay for anything you wish to give me.

I've finally learned that needing you does not make me vulnerable, because it isn't an act of dependence.  It is independence in it's purest, most unadulterated form.  I stand alone.  I am strong enough, capable enough, happy enough, complete enough on my own.  If I wasn't, I could never need you.  If I wasn't perfectly sure of my own worth, my own intrinsic value, I could never really value you for yours.

And so I'm telling you, freely and unabashedly, that I need you.  It's as much a victory for my own pride as for yours.  It's just that now I know it.

I love you, Greg.  I'm going to marry you one day.


We have so much to talk about when I get home.. I can`t wait.

The only thing that weirds me out is... I`m gonna get home... and you`re buddy [guy friend] is gonna be at your house the whole next week... which is cool but... I kinda wanted you to myself for a little while... I mean, it will have been a whole 2 years that we haven`t been together.  Let me know what your plans are that week, so I can plan accordingly.  If you`re really busy, I`ve got alot of other places I can go to.  Let me know? I`d like you to myself a little bit.

I don`t have time to talk about conference, other than to say it was SO GREAT!  I only saw the priesthood session in english.  Me and My comp with a giant tub of Pistachio Ice cream, and 2 Yerba Mate`s , it was pretty awesome.

We had 8 investigators in church, which is a record for me. It was great. I know they`ll be back next sunday, and more.  6 I think have baptismal dates, and a couple that didn`t make it to church. the end of oct and the beginning of nov should be pretty cool.
[Agnostic friend]'s` book.  Um.. I don`t know. I won`t say either way on it.  Use your judgement.  I, personally, would read it.  But I`ve been in this thing for the last two years, battling this thing out.  I will say one thing, that you should NEVER, EVER, argue about spiritual matters. YOU WILL GET NOWHERE.  If chris honestly wants to learn spiritual truths, IT IS ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH THE SPIRIT.  No testimony of a divine truth has ever been arrived to by logic, and less by argument.  When people want to bash with me, I leave. And I know that i would have won.  Think about that. [He] will only arrive to know the truth when he humbles himself, and goes to the source, that is, to ask God himself. Until then, he can read all the damn books he wants.  While he`s at it, he oughtta read Our search for Happiness, by M. Russel Ballard. That one`s worth reading.    That`s my opinion on the subject. Be careful.

Sorry for the language.

Lee, there are so many things I wish I could explain to you, i wish i could express to you.  But I can`t. Not like this.  No one can understand the devotion and dedication I have come to here.  That`s what I wish I could explain to you. I willingly gave my life for this cause.  I have willingly given 2 years, and everything i have to testify to people of this work, of this gospel.  And if someone questions a single point of doctrine, they question EVERYTHING. It`s either ALL true, or ALL false.  And if someone insults it, they insult me at the deepest, most personal level.  They insult the fact that I have given EVERYTHING for it. They diminish my sacrifice, and infinitely worse, they depreciate the only infinite and eternal sacrifice.  That is more than enough to get me to open my mouth.
         I want so much to tell you all this. And I will. I can`t even break the surface right now.  I am no longer just a member of the church.  I`m a part of it, and it is so much a part of me. It`s my blood, my heart and my soul.  May God strike me down dead, should I ever turn my back on it.  I would do it again if I were asked to.  I would give more. I would die for it.  This is something someone like chris doesn`t understand.  I wish he did, and I honestly think, that someday he will.  You will never love nothing more,  than after you have given everything for it. Imagine Christ`s love for us, God`s love for us.  Immense.  Unfathomable. Incomprehensible.  Beautiful.
       This is who I am now.  I hope you like me when I get home. I hope you can be proud of what I`ve become.
I`m glad you found the pictures, and the book.  I`m glad you`ve had a great time lately with your friends.
  I might come home a little, intense, just so you know.  I love hearing the apostles speak. They seem so... familiar to me. As if I knew them personally. It`s the conviction they have. Its the fact that they know where I`m coming from.  It`s something I want to hear more of when I get home.  Something I want to hear from you, for the rest of your life.  I know I will. I`m excited for that.
          Lee,  In what way could you ever need me? If you have everything you need, as you say, where do I even fit in? You are happy enough on your own. You might have to explain that one a little more.
          I needed you, because you made me better. I wasn`t my best, without you. I wasn`t, completely happy, without you. I wasn`t so strong, without you.  If we were ¨enough¨ of everything on our own, we would never need anyone else.  Maybe I`m wrong.  Help me to see this the way you do? Please? I just want to understand they way you feel about things, especially about me, and about us. I need that. As much as i need you.  I love you. I love you so much.                
                                                               I can`t tell you how much you mean to me.  And I need you too. I really do.    


The Oilfield Romantic         

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