Sunday, 26 September 2010

30 Seconds To Mars LIVE

-UVU, MTV Campus Invasion 2010

The concert last night was immmense. I've been wanting to see 30STM for a long time, and they put on incredible show. Shelby picked me up and we headed to the UVU Campus. I was so stoked. I'd been excited since we got the tix. And the day had finally come. We got inside, I decided on a new tee, and we headed inside. Neon Trees were just coming on stage. Their drummer is phenomenal. I was so impressed - seriously, on of the best I've seen live. They played 'Animal', which was the only song I knew by them, but they did a great set. We tried to get onto the floor, but apparently only the first 1200 people to arrive got wristbands to get onto the floor. That kinda sucked, but we found some good seats and enjoyed the music. After Neon Trees's set, I went outside to get water, and saw Tyler, the singer of Neon Trees, hanging out with the crowd, so go a pic with him. I showed Shelby once I got back to our seats, and then we went back so she could get a picture with him. He was awesome live.

Just a couple more minutes until 30 Seconds came on stage... I was so excited.Lights went down. They opened with 'Escape' and 'Night Of The Hunter'. The crowd got jumping. The music was so good. They played 'Attack', 'A Beautiful Lie', 'This Is War', 'The Fantasy', 'Alibi', 'From Yesterday', and a couple of others. During 'Search And Destroy', Jared stopped the music, and was like "Woah woah woah... You, in the white shirt, you weren't jumping" He got us to all practise jumping in time with the music, and wouldn't continue until everyone in the arena was jumping. It was so funny. As they carried on, I was screaming the words, and loving the show. My favourite song of the night, which is my favourite 30STM song anyway, was 'Closer To The Edge'. Awesome. And one of the best songs of the night was 'The Kill', which Jared played acoustic before the band came back on stage. He begun by saying "This is a new song, and I've never ever played this live before..." And then he plays the opening chords of 'The Kill', and it was incredible. Here's a vid of the song:

They encored with 'Kings And Queens', but before they played, they were getting people up on stage. I run to near the stage, and ran down the steps... Jared was picking people at random, and he didn't pick me... But kids just kept going up on stage, and one guy in front of me squeezed between the barriers, and headed up onto the stage, so I followed (managing to rip my jeans in the process), and then jumped up on stage. It was on the best concert moments of my life. Shelby did a great job of getting pictures and videos. Here's a picture of me on stage, followed by some more pics from the night... I had such a great time. At the end, I got high fives off Jared and Shannon. They're awesome.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Three Guys At Five Guys

We had so much fun asking McKensie, Sarah, and Paetyn out on a triple date by leaving them a poem on their door. We wrote out the poem on the back of card which had their name on it, clipped it next to their door, and then waited for Wednesday to come around. They really had no idea who they would be going out with. We were excited to pick them up, holding in our hand a rose for each girl as we knocked on their door. It was so good going out with McKensie Saturday evening, and I was stoked to go out with her again tonight. We knocked on the door, and heard a little scream just before the door opened. And we had a really great time with them. They really are beautiful girls.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Hiking The Y

We hiked up to BYU's famous Y on the mountain last night for FHE. We began the hike at around eight, with the sun gradually silhouetting the west mountains before setting. The view of the valley as we were walking up the mountain was phenomenal. As we were walking, wild deers ran across the path and down the mountain. Then, as darkness fell, the twinkling lights below lit up the streets and houses. As we got higher, we could see not only Provo Temple, but Draper in the distance too. It took about an hour, but we made it. The hike was great, and the views were incredible. The Y is enormous. It was a great night.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

"I did exhort them to keep His commandments in all things always"

-1 Ne. 15: 25 [Edited]

Today has been fantastic. We had the Priesthood session of Stake Conference earlier this morning, which included brilliant talks, and then we headed over to the Marriott Center, where we got to watch the Multi-Multi-Multi-Stake Conference. This was being broadcast live to a lot of Stakes in the Utah Valley area, and over 500,000 people were watching. The speakers included Elder Snow, Sister Beck, Elder Holland, and President Packer. The arena was packed full to the brim, but we had a good seat behind the stand, and were close to the speakers. The talks were so good. There was an empahsis on doing good yourself, keeping the commandments, and having the Spirit always with you. Here's a few of the notes I took from President Packer's talk: A lot of the things we need to learn are simple things: how to feel the Spirit; how to turn away from inappropriate material... We are children of God, and we need to live up to that Fatherhood. We are promised that Christ will not leave us comfortless. The Spirit was so strong. I loved it.

"Let's make this last forever... Forever... And ever..."

'First Date' - Blink 182

Last night was epic. An eighteen-person group date to the ice arena? Yes please. I took Christine, a beautiful young Californian girl I met at the Canon Centre a week or so earlier. She was so much fun to be with. I picked her up from her Hall, and walked for a while to meet up with everyone else who was going. We got to the ice arena, and skated the night away... It was a late-night skate, 10pm until midnight. I had a great time with Christine, she's a brilliant girl. And we had a great laugh with everyone. It was just so much fun...

After skating, we played Quorum vs Quorum Capture The Flag... We started at about quarter to one in the morning, and we were pumped to get started. It really was fun - for the first couple of hours... But it went on for hours, and it got so cold. I tagged a couple of kids, and literally got so close to the flag, before getting tagged and heading back to prison. Me and Tara were on the phone, and we were stragetically discussing how she could make it to the prison to get me out... We were on the phone for fifteen or twenty minutes, as I told her where the prison was, how to get to the prison without guards seeing her... It was so much fun. I was saying stuff like "You shouldn't come to the balcony now; there might be police around the corner" [Don't come to the prison now; there's a guard just around the corner] She managed to get over to the prison, and tag me out... Then, just as we were right near the flag, we got caught again. At about 3am, we called it a draw. Everyone was tired, and cold, and had had enough... So we sat outside and had a hot chocolate to finish the night off right...

Today, we got up to go to Provo Temple for a noonside with our ward. Today's been such a good day. After the noonside, Cody, Robbie, and I went to Cameron and Dustin's for french toast - it was the best. I love those guys. After some serious studying, and then working out, it was off to dinner, and then the Saturday session of Stake Conference. We were watching a broadcast of the confernence in our chapel from the Stake Centre, and unfortunately the tech wasn't working great... Half way through the session the video cut out, so it was just sound. But Dustin, Cameron and I used the opportunity almost as a Presidency meeting. We were, very quietly, and through phones and writing on paper, discussing who we should call. We've been working it out throughout the week, through prayer and pondering, and made the final touches to the list tonight. I'm so excited. Revelation is so real. The Spirit in the conference was so strong. And the talks really were good. The closing hymn, 'The Spirit Of God', brought me to tears on the last lines. It was so powerful. I love it here.

Having only had six hours or so of sleep, I planned to go to bed early tonight. But then Cody invited me to join him in going to the Temple - he was going with a date, so now was the perfect opportunity to ask out McKensie, one of the girls I like. So, I went over to her apartment, and asked her out to do Baptisms. She agreed. I was so excited. Cutting a [kinda] long story short, we got there just after it closed for the night, so spent time walking around the grounds, and talking, looking at the Temple and the mountains and the stars... It was so nice, and she's amazing. I love going on dates...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Cookies Are Always Appreciated

I've eaten more cookies in the past week here at BYU, than in the past six months back in England. Girls just love to deliver cookies. And I love eating them...

Monday, 6 September 2010

23 - 17

1. There is so much to tell. 2. BYU is the best thing in the world. 3. Go Cougars.

I've been having the best time of my life here in Provo. We've actually started classes now, which is alright. It's a lot of work. I've dropped Econ110 already. Save that baby for later. But PhySci100 is cool, Acc200 is cool, Book Of Mormon 121, and Social Dance 180 are awesome. American Heritage is difficult for me, just because I have no idea about the American system, but my new friends are helping me out with that. I love it here, being surrounded by people my age, with the same standards as me, who are smart, but so much fun. I've been trying to fill my time wisely, getting ahead on my homework. Today is Labor Day, meaning a day off of school, which is muuch appreciated. I've spent time getting ahead on my work. I've been going to bed super late too; today I went to bed at 2am and woke up at 12. It's fine when there's no school, but when I need to study I need to get some more sleep. But it's great to just hang out and chat about whatever - music, politics, philosophy.

So, last Saturday was the NSO finale, with an enormous dance, inflatables, and a comedy show, including The Dating Game, and Divine Comedy sketches. The Divine Comedy show was, quite literally, the funniest show I had ever ever seen. Sketches about Twilight, Sunday School, muffins and babies, Mormonads, a guy bleeding to death in a car, and and angel on someone's shoulder... It doesn't sound hilarious when I write it like that, but I was crying with laughter. It hurt so much. Walking back to the apartment, we stood and watched the moon rise over the mountains. It was beautiful. We live in a beautiful world.

Sunday was fantastic. I felt the Spirit so strongly at Church. I got to bless the Sacrament, and the reverence and silence as the Sacrament was being passed was incredible. Our local leaders introduced themselves and spoke. They're all so awesome. In Sunday school, we were all together, and spent time introducing ourselves. With a ward of 190, we didn't even get through half the people. The Elder's quorum lesson after that was immense. The Spirit was so strong.
Sunday was also Mum's birthday, so we headed up to SLC and to Ruby River steakhouse. If you're ever in town, go there. It's the best meat you'll ever eat. It was such a great meal, and great to spend time with my family for the afternoon. That evening we had a building meeting, and then ward prayer. I love my ward.

Monday - the first day of classes. Thankfully my first class isn't until 10, meaning I have time to lay in, chill out, and walk to class. Beginning the week with Book Of Mormon is so awesome. Classes really have been pretty good though. I really like Social Dance. And our instructor is beautiful. Like, really. I've been making lots of new friends in all my classes. And I'm getting into a routine of when to do homework, when to do reading, and all stuff like that. There's a of reading to do. I spent all week studying, like a good student. It was only on Tuesday evening I went out with my family for the last time for dinner before the went home. We went to Olive Garden, and had a good chat. It was sad to leave them. They're back home now, and I'm missing them, but I'm still having a good time here... And in the evenings we've been hanging out with friends. Wednesday evening we had a great time taking a cut-out of Taylor Launtner and putting it in front of girls' doors, knocking, and running away. Some of the reactions were perfect.

Then Friday. Party night. We went to the latest Divine Comedy show, with sketches based on HP6 (HarrY Potter And The One Where Dumbledore Dies) and AvYtar, where a UVU student takes on the body of a blue BYU student, and learns how things work on the campus. It was really good. Then a dance in the evening to finish things up. I made new friends there, and me and this guy called Nick (who was faking a British accent and going by the name Oliver) opened up a pit. It was so much fun. Then I hung out with Nick, Rachel, Breezy, and Solana, and we played music in Breezy's apartment. Then, I hung out with the rest of the kids, and we had a massage line... That was nice. I got to bed at 3 that night...

Saturday was BYU vs Washington - the first football game I'd ever watched. I was sitting with Cody, and he explained the rules, and what was going on. It's a pretty good sport - it's very slow, but was also very exciting. And the Cougars won, 23 - 17. We got such an awesome touchdown. The atmosphere was incredible, with over 64,000 person capacity, and cheers erupting from the stadium. We won. Plus, at half time, President Samuelson, LaVell Edwards, and Elder Holland, amongst others, came out and spoke on the field. It was a good night.

Then Sunday, yesterday, I got a calling in the Ward. I was called to be First Counsellor in the First Elder's Quorum of our Ward. Cameron is the President, and I was so so stoked to be a part of the Presidency. We had our first Presidency meeting, and it's just so exciting. Today, we each prayed, and received revelation about who we should call as a Secretary and Instructor. I felt the Spirit so strongly as I was praying, and was literally receiving revelation. The Church is so true. It is so amazing. I love it.

So today I woke up at midday, got ahead on some work, and then went out on a spontaneous date with a very beautiful girl named Rachel. We only had an hour, so headed to Cafe Rio and had a quick meal, but it was great. Then, FHE this evening was also good. There's always something going on, something to do.

I can't believe we've only been at school for a week. It feels like so so much longer. And it's only just beginning.