Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I went to the Cheyenne Frontier Days this afternoon, thanks Qwest. They invited me up to their box. Mike Ceballos and company are good folks. What a rodeo we had today. I thought I would share a few pictures that I took. The bulls won again today over the cowboys. I went down and looked at the bulls close up. They are big dudes. I have to take my hat off to bull riders. They are a brave, courageous bunch. They take their lives into their lives into their own hands, each and every time they mount one of those monsters.

So, here are some pictures.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Emiline Rose Johnson

The time has finally arrived for Joanne and me, a time we knew would be coming our direction. We are now grandparents for the first time. Anna Rose and Christiaan had their first baby and named her Emiline Rose Johnson. She is beautiful and precious. We drove over to Provo and have spent the last couple of days with them. What a wonderful opportunity--yes, privilege and honor--to sit with her and hold her. Just watching her--her precious face; her little ears; her Johnson lips; the periodic movement of her head; the brownish, maybe redish tuffins; her maybe blue eyes; her long, skinny Hammon feet--all of it is just pure beauty.

Early this a.m., I held her and rocked while whistling and humming "If You Could Hie to Kolob." Amazingly, she perked up and literally looked around. Tears came to me eyes. Yes, she is recently come from her Heavenly Father. We are sure that He misses her. We are so glad, though, that He allowed His precious daughter, one He saved for the latter days because of her strength and courage, to come to earth. We are glad that Anna Rose and Christiaan will have the opportunity/privilege to raise her in righteousness.

Emiline, we welcome you to our family. We love you very, very much.

P.S. Check out more pictures on my Facebook.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July

July 4th is definitely a day of celebration for all Americans. One particular experience I had has stood out among all 4ths was this one: July 4, 1976--the Bicentennial of the United States of America. I remember it well. I was serving a mission for my church--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--in the Chile Concepcion Mission, and my companion and I had just finished a financial audit in Linares, Chile, a train ride away from our home base in Concepcion, Chile. We had spent a very cold night at one of the pensions of the missionaries. We rose early so we could be back in Concepcion.

We were waiting for the train in a very lonely train station early on a chilly Sunday morning many miles from home. We had been discussing some things about home and what might be happening back in the U.S. when all of a sudden the National Anthem blared through the old speakers in the train station. These glorious words overcame us:

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

While the Star-Spangled Banner played, we stood attention, hand over heart, our eyes filled with tears. While we were over 7,000 miles from home, we felt a part of the Bicentennial. At that moment, I had never felt so much love for my country. It was a wonderful feeling.

Thank you to those who have made our country safe throughout the years. I love America.