Saturday, 26 February 2011

LINKIN PARK

-Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City


We just got back from seeing Linkin Park live in SLC a couple of hours ago. They performed such a great set, and the music was fantastic. The show was one of the best I've ever seen.

We headed up to Salt Lake with Randy and Mark, and then ate in The Gateway foodcourt before we went into the venue. They bought their tickets just a couple of days earlier, and although they had bought GA Floor tickets to be with Hannah and I, they picked up seated tickets. Even with the upgrade they bought, they couldn't make it to the floor. They had front row seats though. We got to the floor, got a decent spot, and waited for The Prodigy to come onstage.
        Prodigy had an awesome set. They really performed, and even with a crappy crowd, they got everyone moving. They performed 'Breathe', 'Omen', 'Invaders Must Die', and a bunch of my other favourite songs. Almost no-one knew any words, but I had a great time singing as loud as I could. I just hated how much Maxim cussed. The rest was so much fun. The bass was so loud, and the guitarist was epic. At first the crowd wouldn't move, and then on Prodigy's last song, 'Smack My ... Up', Maxim got everyone on the floor to crouch down, and then at the drop everyone jumped up and really started the party.



As they finished their set, the crew began getting the stage ready for the headline act. It was an intense set up, with guys getting in chairs and being lifted and suspended above the stage to work the lights. We had a brilliant view of the stage, just four people back from the barrier. Finally the arena lights went down. Linkin Park began their set with 'Faint', and went into 'What I've Done' and other classics like 'Lying From You'. It was one of the best shows I've ever seen, with the lights and the screens and the music. The crowd really did suck, barely moving, and there was even one guy smoked some weed right in front of us. It was disgusting. But the band's performance was actually brilliant, and I the set was so great. They played a lot of my favourite old songs, like 'Papercut' and 'No More Sorrow', and then new songs like 'Waiting For The End', 'Iridescent', and 'Blackout'. One of my favourite songs of the night was the last song of their encore, 'One Step Closer'. The crowd really went for it, and a legit mosh pit opened up on the floor which I jumped into, until security came and broke it up. The sound was absolutely perfect at the venue, and it was impressive to see the band playing different instruments at times, like Dave playing drums and Chester on guitar. I had a great time... And as LP went offstage and the crew began taking the set down, I hung around to try to get the setlist. I didn't get the setlist, but I did get one of their Gatorades. Haha awesome













Friday, 25 February 2011

"What I've Done..."

-'What I've Done', Linkin Park

What a awesome, busy week this has been. There's been so much going on. My Mum and sister came over to visit for a few days while Charlotte was on a break from college. I was so excited when I heard they had booked a spontaneous holiday over here. Then Sam and her boyfriend Cole came down to see them, and we all had a pretty good weekend.

Last Friday, the evening after the Pendulum gig, we went to College Night at the ice sheet. There was a whole bunch of us who went, and even though the ice was all chopped up and crappy, we had a great time. This time I took Ashley, and we had so much fun on the ice just messing around; we were racing, spinning around each other, pushing each other, and fell over, sliding on the ice a few times. I practised my transitions and hockey stops, and I just love ice skating. Ashley was so much fun to be with, we had such a laugh.

On Saturday, Mum treated us to lunch at Tucano's. That's the best restaurant ever. The continual flow of meat was delicious, and I was so full when we were done. That evening I spent time with Mum, and we watched an episode of 'Hustle', just like old times. Sunday morning we all headed to Church, then ate at the Cannon as we do every week. It was good to have everyone there. We were all chatting at dinner, and throughout the afternoon. (Well, everyone else was talking as I was sleeping on the couch haha) That evening, I went with Mum to pick up my PC and then we quickly bought snacks for the evening. After Ward Prayer Cody and I taught everyone how to play Poker, and then we played card games for the rest of the evening. Monday was President's Day, and after getting up and cleaning the apartment, we all headed to SLC and ate at the Lion House - a delicious steak with fresh rolls and honeybutter. Some of Charlotte's friends came to see her, and she loved spending time with them. We headed up to Sundance and went night-skiing later that evening. Cody and I showed her the slopes and took her down the more difficult ones. Some of the girls from our Home Evening group were there snowboarding, and we hung out with them for a bit. The snow was awesome that night, because it had snowed a few days earlier. It was powdery and perfect. Tuesday was Monday instruction at BYU, which was so confusing. After classes, we had lunch at Ruby River. I love that place. Then we had social dance in the evening. After dance, I was studying for a Bio quiz when Shelby called me up, and let me know that Randy from EFY back in 2008 was in town. After studying for a bit for the quiz, Robbie and I went out with them to In'N'Out, and hung out. Randy is such an awesome, funny kid, and it was great to see Shelby again. On Wednesday, my mission call arrived. BYU played CSU (84 - 76), and we left at half time to go to Elder Gene R Cook's Prospective Missionary Fireside. He instructed us, taught us how to prepare for a mission, and the blessings that come from serving. My mind was caught up in the Greece, Athens Mission. I was still pumped. Then after going to the Creamery on 9th and buying Graham Canyon ice cream, the best ice cream in the world, I had some friends over to officially announce my call. I was so stoked.
Then yesterday was Mum and Charlotte's last day here. We made the most of the time. Charlotte, Cody and I went to Provo Temple in the morning, and then for lunch Mum took Charlotte and I to Five Guys. After Hockey, we hit up BYU Bookstore and then to Pizza Pie Café. The cookie dough desert pizza was incredible. There was a social dance lab in the evening, and then we just spent time looking at photos together. They're on a plane heading home now. It was so good to get to see them again. I love them so much.








And over the weekend the hard drive on this computer failed. I had to back up all the data, get the hard drive replaced, install an operating system, download all the programs I use, and then restore all my files. It reminds me how blessed I am to have this technology to use. It was so stressful, and I hated not having a computer even for a few days, but after dropping 300 bucks and spending a few hours on it, it's all good again.

Mission Call



My mission call didn't even make it into my post box when it arrived on Wednesday. I saw the UPS delivery van coming, and stood waiting by the letterbox. The postwoman asked if I was expecting a mission call and asked my name. In her hand she had an envelope with the Church's logo and my name on it. I was so excited, so nervous, so pumped, and a little bit terrified.
        I headed up to the Y Mountain and parked up, overlooking Utah Valley. Mum offered a prayer. Instantly I was in tears as she spoke to our Father, and I felt the Spirit so strongly. My whole life has pretty much been leading up to this time. After the prayer was said, we began our hike up the mountain. It was a bit soggy and snowy in places, but we made it up a couple of switchbacks, and stopped at a bench, even higher above the valley. We were overlooking BYU, the MTC, Provo Temple, Timpanogos Temple, Utah Lake, and the mountains to the west. It was peaceful and quiet. With the envelope in hand, Dad on the phone, and Charlotte recording the experience, I began to open it.
        "Dear Elder, You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Greece Athens Mission. . . . You will prepare to preach the Gospel in the Greek language." I was so excited. It wasn't where I was expecting to go, but I felt so happy, so excited, and so good about my assignment. The call continued: "You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored Gospel. You will be an official representative of the Church. . . . The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have yet experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in the labor of love among His children. We place you in our confidence and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary. . . . Sincerely, President Thomas S Monson."
        I spoke to my Dad on the phone, and just burst into tears every now and then. He was very excited too. I read Alma 37:33-34 while we were on the mountain. The feelings are almost indescribable. I felt the Spirit, peace, and great love as I thought about my mission in just a couple of months. I'm to report to the MTC at the beginning of May, a month before my availability date. It was an incredible experience. Charlotte gave us another prayer, and we began heading back down the mountain.
        I began calling family and telling them all the good news. That evening, after half a basketball game against CSU and a Prospective Missionary Fireside with Elder Gene R Cook, we got back to the apartment and I invited a bunch of friends over to officially announce my assignment. The picture below is just a few of the people there. As I said "the Greece Athens Mission" there was an immense cheer. It was great to have everyone over to celebrate with me.
        I'm really excited for it. And a little nervous. I've already began learning some Greek and looking at the new alphabet. It's going to be an awesome time in my life. I'm so grateful to have the Gospel in my life. In know that Christ lives, and that we are all children of our Father in Heaven. Now I'm to teach that to the people in Greece. I was so stoked as I went to bed, saying καληνύχτα to my roommates...


Friday, 18 February 2011

PENDULUM

-In The Venue, Salt Lake City


Last night was beyond phenomenal. Pendulum absolutely rocked my life. After years of waiting to see them, I finally got to see a live band set. They started off awesome and got better and better. It was the greatest light show I've ever seen, and some of the loudest bass I've ever heard.

Mike, Melisa, and I got to the venue just as Innerpartysystem were playing. It wasn't the greatest venue I've ever been to, but the dark rooms and dirty floors are all part of the experience. Innerpartysystem's set was pretty good. I'm not actually sure how much of it was live; there were just two guys up there pushing buttons alongside the drummer, but the drummer was pretty awesome. Finally the stage was set, and the lights went down. Pendulum came onstage. There was Rob Swire chilling on his synth, and MC Ben 'The Verse' Mount getting the crowd pumped. Gareth on bass was so cool, everytime he hit the strings the bass from the speakers hit you like a wall. And the drummer, Kevin, was incredible, hitting every beat, even speeding up the tempo on the double-bass before the drops. Once the music started the crowd came alive, and the entire floor was a mosh pit. Even though we were surrounded by drunk kids and kids smoking weed, it was a pretty good night. We were just a couple of people back from the barrier and had a perfect view. The music was so good, and we spent some time up the front, and some time moshing later on. My favourite songs of the set were 'Comprachicos', 'The Vulture', 'Blood Sugar', and 'Granite'. The night was so intense.














Sunday, 13 February 2011

My mission papers are in.



"The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished..."
-The Standard of Truth, Joseph Smith



"Remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come;
yea, remember that He cometh to redeem the world.
"
-Helaman 5:9



"Preach unto them repentance, and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ teach them to be meek and lowly in heart; teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls."
-Alma 37:33-34



I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true Church here upon the Earth. I'm so blessed to have a testimony, knowledge, and understanding of the Gospel. I know that Christ lives. This is our Father's work. It is so real, so incredible, and so exciting.


Saturday, 12 February 2011

RIVALS

72 - 59

BYU Basketball vs Utah, in our house - The Marriott Center. At first it was a tight game. The Cougars got the shots but missed a lot. At half-time, we were only one point ahead, 31 - 30. They were playing pretty good. After half-time, the Jimmershow began. He was back on top form. Charles was playing phenomenally, and Jackson is a legend at basketball anyway. The cheers from the crowd were incredibly loud as BYU pulled ahead.
Utah got Jimmer'd.








video


Saturday, 5 February 2011

Let's Go Cougars

Wow. After being on campus yesterday for 11 hours, eating, studying, and being in the testing center for two-and-a-half of those 11 hours, I took a day off of studying. Get up and dressed. Head to the Marriott for basketball. Come back 4 hours later. Eat dinner. Quick game of human foosball. Head to the Smith Fieldhouse for volleyball. Come home. Eat Krispy Kreme donuts. Blog. Great day...

BYU Basketball vs UNLV
78 - 64






An awesome atmosphere. It began as a pretty tight game, and then we pulled ahead. Slam dunks. Steals. 3-pointers. There was almost a fight at the beginning of the game, as the ball was on the court and four people dived to get it. At our 72nd point, the announcer informed the audience: "Jimmer Fredette is now the all-time Mountain West Conference scorer!" The crowd went wild. An incredible win.


BYU Volleyball vs UCLA
3 - 0





The first BYU men's volleyball game I've been to, and it was brilliant. We have a great team. Ace serves. Blocks. Spikes. We won three sets straight. And I got this video of the winning point of the match:

video


Night Skiing

Last Friday (28/01/11) Cody and I went skiing with Kirra. We got there just as the sun was going down, shining beautiful oranges onto the surrounding mountains. That night I was getting pretty good at getting air from jumps. My only wipeout of the night was when Cody was filming me over one of my favourite jumps. I've landed it every single time, except the time Cody was recording. That video certainly isn't gonna be uploaded. Kirra had a phenomenal wipeout - in all my years of skiing I've never seen anything like it. She was speeding down a black run in snow plow, just straight down. She was heading for a patch of trees, and didn't slow down. As I saw a column on snow rise in the air, I saw her hat on the branch of one tree, her ski a way away, and she was crumpled in a little pile. I was relieved when I saw her get up and laugh. So much fun.