The Longer Ones

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ch 13 Stood Up

At church today I had some alone time. Not too long of course, but just enough to ponder about a quick story.

Usually whenever I talk about someone new they always sound so amazing. Whoever they are, they give me a few details here and there to describe someone you may imagine then fill in the blanks with someone I love or someone who is more than they are. I don't try to do this or intentionally do this, but I guess I just see them optimistically as a more perfect person. Filling in the blanks to become someone I want to be around or someone I love.

And at times... like all young adults, it leads one to do stupid things.

One time in college I had a minicrush on this one girl. Barely knew her. And by barely I mean I had probably 10 fifteen minute conversations with her or something like that, and I invited her to go on a picnic with me. She said sure and I was really excited. I wrote a note on my journal and my calendar and I was ready to have an awesome picnic.

When the day finally came I got a cute basket, a blanket, and a movie ready and waited outside her apartment building. But she never arrived.

I stared at a tree and was confused with what to do. A few friends walked by and said hi but left as quickly as they arrived. Soon enough I stared at this tree and was angry for a little while.
"Where is she?"
"I'm such an idiot!"
"It's really cold out here"
But angry thoughts won't really get you anywhere. I stopped and knelt down for a prayer.
I don't remember actually finishing that prayer. The next thing I remembered I woke up under the same tree wondering what had happened. First sudden chills went through me but not a minute later I felt good. Maybe not good about being stood up but good because I never really felt alone.

The reason why I talk about this is because I feel like people might perceive my life as perfect or going well and that's not entirely true. I have my own struggles and shortcomings, and though I don't really talk about it, doesn't mean bad experiences are not there (like being stood up). Regardless of what's going on, it's not going to change my belief that life is good. That while at times we may feel lost or confused or just staring blankly at the stars... there is someone there for us, and it is possible to keep going and move on. Sure in that night, the one I was waiting for did not arrive, but I never stopped feeling the Spirit's promptings that life is good.

Yeah life sucks and it's hard at times but if we choose to not focus on ourselves. If we look at that bigger picture, choose to endure past the struggles, and having faith for what seems like something unachievable, then we can become the people we want to be. The person that God knows we can be.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ch 12 Annual Friendship Subscription


Okay that was a bit too much excitement... anyway got her a marriage gift, registry gift, newwed giveaway, a thingy thing to celebrate their eternal bonding thingermajiger.

After buying her the gift though, I started pondering... of well our friendship. There were a lot of ups and downs, and more drives to count. She really was (and still is) an incredible friend. Though a few hundred miles away, I still feel her care and genuine love, and though I know I'm not the eternal best friend for her, she is and always will be that one bubbly weird girl that says hi to me when I most need it.

She's awesome and kind and though she doesn't really show it... very patient for the people who really matters. She's loyal and though she friendzoned me (but let's real I liked it there anyway), it was a really bomb af zone. And I'm glad she did too, because though that decision, I'm proud to have seen her change to become a wonderful young woman. A woman who I know should make Justin worry. Because bro you got some catching up to do.

I'm sorry I wasn't able to tell you this in person or be there in your special day, but I hope this along with our annual friendship subscription helped. I know I'm not a perfect person and I get that at times I might've been a bad friend (or at least bad at advice). But I hope that though it wasn't perfect, I could be a good friend to you.

Also I hope you like the travel bag.

Ch 11 Everything's gonna be okay

"I'm different."
"I'm acting more like myself!"

I don't mean myself before the mission, but the version of me I'm comfortable with. How can I explain this... let's start with a story.

In 2015-2016 I applied for a few colleges: UofM, BYU, UCLA, Dartmouth, Fordham, UC Berkeley, UChicago, etc. And when I applied I wrote one essay that fit in most of the prompts. This is the essay that helped me gain acceptance to my future and when the time finally came to writing that paper, I decided to take a slightly different route. Instead of talking about achievements or passions or families, I decided to talk about a mask.

What do you think of when you think of masks?

People being fake? a masquerade? hidden agendas? something not real? If so, you're probably right!
I talked about wearing a mask to fit in. To find friends, to get things, and to get connections. For personal gain, for selfish purposes and for selfless purposes. I talked about being used or using others and I talked about how I was a mask.

Just do what they tell you.
Just follow what they do.
Buy what they buy.
Talk about this.
Listen to this instead.
Only hang out with them.
Date her.... And everything's gonna be okay.

And that's what I did... in the hopes that everything's gonna be okay. The colleges asked me to talk about myself, but when the time came, I wasn't exactly sure who that was.

I'm still trying to find out.

But since my arrival here and my time to think I believe that for once... it's not an empty promise.
That everything's gonna be okay.

Ch 10 Meekness in my Voice

I know it's been a while but before I post this, I had to be sure that I was being honest with what I'm saying and making sure that what I felt was true.

A few weeks ago I called an old friend, and she said that I sounded different. A bit sadder. A bit more somber. To which I responded with, "just with a different perspective." I kept thinking about my answer for a while (basically since my last post) and pondered what I meant with this perspective.

At first I wasn't necessarily sure if this was a good thing. My sister sometimes asks me the old me disappeared and not really, just different.

Maybe for the first time in a while I can finally slow down and look inwards with what I think and feel and want. Or maybe I just became more introverted. Or maybe for the first time in a while I don't feel like pretending or being something else.

A few weeks ago I called an old friend. We caught up on life, discussed goals, some accounting jokes, and asked why I sounded different. What sounded different?

I'm feeling...
Grateful. Maybe a bit lowly, but Grateful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ch 9 Opportunities

Trying not to be a missionary is weird.

Yeah it was for a short time, but when you're trained to talk and share spiritual knowledge, it can be hard at times to contain it all. For example, in one of my shifts I was talking to this one customer and she randomly brought up the topic of religion. I talked to her and shared with her some of my beliefs and vice versa until I got yelled at by my manager to keep doing my job. IT'S HARD TO SHUT UP!

It's like. I don't know how to describe it. It's like a weird breakup. Errr possibly every breakup. When you leave someone you cared a lot about, you're often stuck with a lot of information that probably won't be used anymore and it's a waste. So much information and detail that's just sitting there. But as irrelevant as it may be, it's still there. Annoyingly there. My faith, my beliefs, my ambitions, sitting here and I don't know what to do with them.

I suppose I could share them! But if I share with the people I know now, it'll bring about the awkward question of, "hey why're you home?" I'm really starting to get tired of that question... like, "didn't you read the email?" But nonetheless I want to share what I've learned. I know that my time there was cut short and I want to keep going. This is where the title of this post comes in.

Finding my opportunities. Whelp... it doesn't come daily as it used to. I still pray, still read my scriptures, and somehow it happens. Maybe it's because of my weird name, or me trying to bring it up in casual conversations, but at times I do talk about it. At work, in Uber rides, in the rain, wherever the Lord sends me, I gotta find a way.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ch 8 Living in a Dream

Dreams. Dreams are a cool topic. I dream of being an accountant!
That says a lot about my personality already.... but that's not the kind of dream I'm thinking of. Oh no. These dreams are the ones we get everyday. The ones we easily forget, or long to remember. First off my English has been sucking lately, so let's hope my vocab skills are still somewhat there.

What do you dream about?

I should ask that on a date.... whatever. I dream of weird situations. Sailing a boat. Being kidnapped. Building legos. You know casual stuff like that! And occasionally there's one or two nightmares but those rarely occur.

Recently though there's this one dream that keeps repeating over and over. What's that word again... a reoccurring dream! I had a reoccurring dream of me in someone's house, teaching a lesson with my companion. I've never met him but he seems familiar somehow. Anyway I was hungry and tired, but I was still teaching. Sharing them what I knew and it felt good. I know that at the end of that lesson they might reject us but afterwards we said a quick prayer, wished them luck, and went on our way. And I wake up.

It keeps repeating every other night or so. And it makes me happy, like there's something more ahead or a joyful account of what could've happened... but for right now it is what it is. It's only a dream.

Ch 7 Depression

When I came home I knew full well that I'm going to disappoint a lot of people. But I never really realized the emotional aspect of it all until it actually happens.

I have no doubt that the right decision was made. However, I never realized how awkward and hard it is to tell the truth... to well a lot of people. At church or at work or whenever I see/talk to any of my friends and family really.

Adjustment hurts a bit. It hurts a lot. Usually when a missionary comes home it's... well happier. But I just can't stop feeling like I failed. Like this isn't where I'm meant to be, that I've hurt so many people, and by coming back I've effectively alienated my friends. Or at least made it so awkward that I can't talk to them like I used to.

The best two years. Errr the best month. And it was really good. I loved it a lot! Though it was painful and hard, it was worth it and I'm proud to have served no matter how short it was. But it hurts to talk about..

It's like the one topic I want to talk about, that one topic I'm most proud of, is also the one topic I'm most ashamed of. I pray it'll get better. It has to.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ch 6 Gratefully Derailed

My plan is well, I'm depending a lot on God for once. I'm reading more and finally doing what I need to do and I feel great. I just wish time would fly faster. I just wanna skip to the good part of coming back... or at least going to school... But I'm not ready for that yet.

I'm weak. Filled with imperfections but for once I'm admitting to it. I know what He wants for me, and I'm starting to know what I want for myself. And it's helping me feel something again...

A lot of times in the mission field or in life in general, I find people addicted to whatever because it helps them feel something or run away from feeling something... but for once... I'm feeling it (the Spirit, God's grace?) again. Like I'm younger, cleaner, and getting better.

A few days ago one of my friends asked me if I was happy, and you know what? my life is derailed. I really have a chicken scratch of a plan, but I'm grateful. I needed that to come back to the right plan. To the one that'll bring happiness to everyone. To the plan that'll bring us all closer together. To the plan that brings eternal peace.

"So are you happy?"

I'm not sure yet, but for once I think I'm actually getting there. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

CH 5 Home Again?

Elder Villanueva.
Whelp guess I gotta get used to that again. I'm not sure what to do now. I applied for some jobs, I'm still reading my scriptures, still memorizing what I need to memorize and remembering what I've done. But wow it's really hitting me. Life is hitting me.

"So how are you feeling?"

Well it's mixed I suppose. Happy that I've confessed and feel better on that inside, but also guilty I'm not in the field. There are so many other things I could be doing right now... proselyting, learning the language, going back to school... but I can't do any of that right now. For the first time (since maybe 7th grade?), everything is slowing down and it's making me feel guilty. I thought it would only slow down in the mission field but even here. Even when I've been released, it's still slow. Until I get back on my feet, it'll be a bit slow... and it's my fault. But with every day that passes I do

"So what's your daily routine?"

Well my new best friend is a broom. Just cleaning some things. Reading books. Watching some TV but not too much (like 2 hrs max). Sleeping. Praying for a job. Playing with a dog. Normal stuff I suppose.

"What're your plans now?"

Whelp currently none at all... Just kidding. I'm preparing and hoping to come back. But for now, let's get a job, let's keep on reading, let's help the fam bam, and let's get to work. I may be home, but I'm still ambitious as ever!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ch 4: His Infinite and Everlasting Sacrifice

One thing you should know about me is that I'm a little unconventional and I love story telling.

Here's my story. 

Once upon a time, there is a young boy. He always did what he was told, even when he doesn't know why. Growing up, he saw a pattern that if you follow what your parents say or what other adults say, then you'll be alright. And that proved to be true for the most part. He read his scriptures, went to church, got high grades, and did all that was expected of him, until a trial... a real trial came his way; a girl came into his life.

Now girls and young women are not and should not be a trial in your life. The problem is your intention and what you choose to do with other people. They talked. They laughed. They became friends, and one night.... Things went out of hand. He remembered what he learned in the past, he remembered the ordinances he was suppose to keep, and he heard something inside screaming he shouldn't... but somehow...  he didn't listen.

A few weeks passed and soon he left on a journey. He kept on moving and quickly his mistake was out of his mind. He didn't humble himself and kept saying "whelp it's not my fault I'm happy like this." It's like his mistake disappeared! 

But scars like that doesn't fade or magically vanish. He went through the motions in the MTC, did what he did all his life and followed what his superiors told him, until he arrived in the field. He taught a few lessons, and even befriended a ton of new people, but all the while felt himself rot. Every morning, he mourned but can't figure out why. Every night, he found the reason but continually denies its existence. Then came the fifth day. His companion noticed something was wrong and he spilt the truth. It took a little while more, but eventually he told his Mission President and he accepted that he's going home...
I'm going home. 
I truly did my best. I love and care for my companion Elder Manrique, the people of Calasiao Pangasinan, and the branch that I serve. But I'm not worthy enough to be there. I hid the truth because I was afraid of being sent home or being excommunicated... but I realized that the loss of the Holy Ghost is worse than any earthly punishment one can receive. I felt broken and don't know what to do next... So I read the scriptures. I read and found Psalms 38. It described King David's sorrows for his mistake and his cry for forgiveness. And soon I remembered Jesus Christ's sacrifice for all of us. That I'm not the first person who begged to take away my pain. That our companionship is not the first to struggle in this mission... in His mission. Jesus Christ gave His all for us. That through Him we can be saved. That there is a plan prepared for us to come back IF WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIS INFINITE AND EVERLASTING ATONEMENT. He gave us all this path that we may repent and become perfected in Him. None of us are perfect... none of us are even close... but that's why we need Him, so that we can strive to become perfect. I thank Him every day. And feel His love deeper now. Though I'm being sent home, though there will be harsh judgments and disappointment. I'm not the first to feel this way. I'm not the first to feel this pain, HE WENT THROUGH IT TOO! And he lives... oh heck yeah he lives! and we can too!

Sure! I have no clue what'll happen next in my life. But think about it! Who am I to decide who I am and tell myself who I can be. For once, I have no plan for myself. But because I know I'm following the Lord and His plan for me, I know everything'll be alright... whatever happens next... all is well. All is well.

I never knew my time as Elder Villanueva would be so short... however even though it was short, we brought many souls to Him. And oh how great is my joy.

-Elder Villanueva  (signing off for a while)

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CH 3: Meh it's okay so far

The Gospel is true. In the realest way I know how. through experiences. It wasn't just a peaceful feeling after reading the scriptures. I used the scriptures to show love towards my zone. One of the missionaries was feeling a bit out of it and down and somehow... even though i couldn't think of anything to do, I found a verse. It uplifted him and I know that through him, countless more will be blessed in the next few years. I love my district and my zone. And though the Lord has assigned us to do this additional work, with his help, I know that I will be given what's necessary to bless and help those around us.
I do miss my family but I'm feeling okay. Yes, homesick, but that's normal. It's how I know I was cared for and loved by my friends, family, and mostly everyone in this email list. I'm losing myself in the work and though I do love all of you, I know I need to be here. I love my investigators, and every day I can feel my love for the gospel and to my investigators grow. I'm gonna be honest, some days this week kinda sucked. like "broken heart and contrite spirit and I feel like I'm gonna poopin die" kinda suck. But by remembering why I'm here, and by seeing the joy this gospel can have on others, I'm constantly reminded that this is where I need to be. This is where I want to be. And this is where the Lord has plan for me.

Stay lit y'all

-Elder Villanueva

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


I apologize but this is gonna be short and my grammar is gonna be really bad because i have 10 min to write.
The translation of the book of mormon came from two sets of plates. LArge plates and small plates (for the sake of simplicity and argument). The large plates contained superficial stuff like what did I eat and where was what and what happened while the small plates contained important morals.

Here are my plates for the week.
Large plates: I became a zone leader. It's a bit daunting but I know that with the help of the Lord I can do my duty and help those around me. The food is so frickin good. but I don't have a lot of time to email. roughly 50 minutes per week. I only have 2 weeks left at the MTC. and I can't upload pictures.... i'll figure it out.

Small plates: I'm not perfect. Far from it. The language is harder than I expected but I'm getting there. Although I'm leading people I can barely understand at times, I know that with the Holy Ghost, I will be led to do what's right. A lot of times I became sad and homesick and that's natural but I know by focusing on the work I'll be alright. and it will be alright. I love the people here and I hope that all is well back in the states.

-Elder Villanueva

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ch 1 My Sibs

I just left my family and wow it's already been such an adventure. I was lost, on the verge of tears, then a lot of tears, then a lot of self-doubt. But soon enough a series of things came my way and picked me back up. After my first flight of being alone without a companion, I started walking aimlessly in LAX. I didn't know where I was, and my connecting gate is gate 142.... I arrived in gate 14.... 

I wanted to give up and just call my mom. Another lady even offered me to use her phone, but right when I was about to take the phone, I heard something. 


 I thought I was hearing things until it came again.

"Elder! Elder!"

I looked around and I saw them. Missionaries from Samoa and Marshall Islands saying hi to each other and hugging. Right then, I said no to the phone call, and walked towards them. I didn't even need to say hi. Right when they saw me coming, they gave me a big hug too. They went under, I went over, so they had all the power in this hug. It reminded me of my siblings, and we all laughed as I showed them a picture of my family. We talked for a while and they understood what I was going through. They had big families and missed them a lot, but they told me that, "no matter what, you'll never be alone. Even though it's easy to forget at times, Heavenly Father is there for us, and we [the missionaries] are your family." They walked me to my terminal until I found a different group of missionaries going to the Philippines. I thanked them and shook their hands before they left. 

There was another thing that brought me peace. Near the hotel, on the plane, in the airport, I heard 4 things that brought me peace. My siblings and I. I heard us. Or at least the essence of us. Wherever I went, I kept hearing them. 4 things repeated. La La Land for my lil bro. Coldplay for me. Bruno Mars for my sister. And Beyonce for my eldest sister. Yeah they may not be the purest song and I didn't listen to them directly. But hearing it around me made me feel like my family is there for me. It reminded me that they are here for me. And even though it's not directly my fam bam, y'all always find a way to give me peace. Thanks.

Let's start this new chapter

This post was written hours prior preparing for this moment.

I've been set apart. This is a strange time but basically it means that I am officially a missionary now.

What does that mean? Set apart?

Well even though I've complained about missionary life a lil bit, now because I was set apart I'm officially one. No technology other than once a week for emails and this blog. I will be able to use Skype, but only twice a year for Christmas and Mother's Day where I will call my fam bam. If you'd like to email me, look at the contact me tab and it should be there.

Are you going to change?

Well a little bit I suppose. I'm still weird and me, but I'll be more spiritual and I'll teach and preach about my religion and do more service. And that's not a bad thing, it's just different from what you might be used to.

Now that doesn't mean I abandoned my beliefs or my identity in general. It's still there, I promise. And he'll come back every now and then hahaha. But it won't be as often as my usual conversations because it won't be as "appropriate" anymore. Well let's be real, a lot of my conversations aren't appropriate anyway, but this time I do have a legitimate reason to be more mature... I'll change for two years into someone you might not recognize but someone I know I can be proud of. Yeah Asian Narwhal is still here. Somewhere there. But I'll be focusing on what God wants me to do. Not my wants or wishes, but His wants and wishes for me. Besides it's not like I'm being forced. For the first time in a really long time, I can feel that my wants and His wants for me are the same thing.

What's next?

Well at this time I should be either at the airport or on a 13-17 hour flight to Manila. Isn't that exciting?! But like always I'm also a scared butt. I'm excited and happy but also scared.

Hmmm exactly one year ago I joined a BYU group page and introduced myself... now I'll do the same thing but this time I'll make it better somehow. This time it's not for me, it's for Heavenly Father... I really hope I don't mess up or suck somehow.

But you know what?! screw the anxiety! I'm starting a new chapter. As smol as I am, I'm not that little kid with a cardboard castle anymore. I'm not casually singing, "I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two," because I have grown, I have been called, and I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

So let's do this. Let's start a new chapter. A new adventure. An awesome mission.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Pass the baton.

I left. This post is postmarked so even though I wrote this roughly a week ago, you'll only see it now... Right about the time I hug my family one more time. Great timing right?

Gosh... I wonder how I'll be feeling right now.


Ahhh those are some fun feelings.
But that's alright. It's all a part of the job. And I'm gonna love it, because I'm already starting to.
I do admit I'll miss my family and all of my friends, but life will go on without me and I know we all will be just fine. Besides even though I'm gone, I know someone somewhere is just about to come home (or just a few hours ago).

For instance, even though I just left, I know someone who just came home. He doesn't even know me. But I know of him. Because I know he'll have a wonderful adventure with a dear bubbly friend. A week ago, this guy emailed my friend about me. And quite frankly I'm proud of him. We are similar. Maybe in writing or in experiences or in friend taste but still very different. Even though I've never met him, I'm not going to lie, he became a goal for me to achieve. From the stories my bubbly friend told me, he redeemed himself and became a standard for other missionaries. And although I have little to no doubt now that I'll be an okay missionary, if I can be at least half the man that he is I know that I'll be able to do all that God wants me to do and so much more.

And if he's at least half the friend that I was to my bubbly friend, I know that their relationship will be nothing less than celestial.

Thank you stranger. Even though you probably don't know me, I'll always be grateful. Thanks for passing the baton.

Monday, July 24, 2017

What we know

In the last year, I've written a lot. Like a butt ton.

I did my best to write them, even though most of the time, there was barely any time at all. It's a really busy life... and to be honest, it's understandable why a lot of people don't do this at all.

It makes sense why others might not want to talk about life. Or their feelings. Or anything deep to anyone. Because it takes time and you're putting yourself out there. This isn't required. No one told me to write. I just do it. And quite frankly it's exhausting and my time could've been used to something more productive. But I value writing about it. It's a space for me to think. Too often we make the stupidest mistakes because we just forget, or we didn't think about an action enough, or maybe we're just afraid to look deeper than what's in front of us. And I get that. But at least this way, it gives me peace. I don't have any regrets anymore and it feels nice.

Or you know you could just shove it down and be on your merry way. But where's the fun in that? What's the point in having emotions if you don't take the time to just feel.

However, writing down these thoughts for the world to see presents a different problem. This is probably the third or fourth time I've written about this topic, but I do it because it keeps coming up. I have to keep the audience in mind. Yeah I typically do this for myself, but even then, every time I write I ask myself if I should follow my heart or the heart that's reading mine. Blogging for random people to read presents a different feeling of vulnerability. Because in a way, your audience understands you deeper than any other close friends.

That's not true though. That last sentence.

Reading my blog. Reading my letters. Reading my speeches. Reading my emails. Do you really think you can know a person just by doing that?

I've written so much this past year... A few weeks ago one of my friends said this quote.
"I've read your blog. I'm pretty sure I know you."
Well lemme tell you something [audience]... You think you know me? Until you meet me I promise you...

You have no idea.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


"Alexa play some Hozier"
"Hey Siri, what's the weather?"
"Guys stop looking at your phone"
"I wish I had that iPad"
"When the sun end of the world comes, that's what we'll do... We'll light up the sky with tiny glowing screens"

TECH! TECH! TECH! It's everywhere, it's our closest friend, honestly it's my best friend. You can't live your days without seeing at least one and as much as they affect our lives, they also affect the relationship of the people we care about.

Before I continue I'd like to say that I talked to an old dude about this today, so I'm pretty sure there's something good in here. He (that one old dude) made fun of me errrr my generation because he said that "y'all have the attention span of a goldfish." And I guess he's sorta right but it's not really our fault. One way to spin his quote positively is by calling ourselves "technology native." We're the first generation to grow up with technology and it causes us to adapt with new equipment. But it wasn't always good...

By being able to understand technology, we became more fast-paced. New inventions and new trends happen so fast and to fit in, we desperately tried to stay on top of all of them... And that's exhausting. No wonder our attention span is like a goldfish... More new things pop up, and to keep track we only look at them if they're entertaining to us.

I guess that's okay... It influenced us to learn about the world and trends to keep up, until... it affected us. First off with how we see ourselves. So we're only happy once we're caught up? That doesn't make sense. That's like feeling happiness only at the end of a goal. After we finish a goal, we set up another one, after we catch up to a trend, another one follows. At this pace, we put our happiness beyond the cognitive horizon... we set ourselves up to never feel happiness... can't we just be happy with what we have now? With what we're doing now?

Next. What did technology force us to do? Like each passing trend, we treated our friends and family like entertainment. We forced ourselves to become performers so that we can always entertain our wives and our husbands and our friends and our superiors and it doesn't end. We put on a smile, we act professional, we act happy to please the people around us. Even when I try not to pander to my audience, it happens anyway... We perform constantly to each other, and when we're bored we look for another performer.
This is hell.
Like actually hell. It's exhausting and it hurts and it's not real and worst of all that's not how you find a friend. A friend isn't there for just the good and happy times... they're there almost all the time. To deal with your crap and to deal with your joys. That's what friends do isn't it? So why do we keep abandoning them so often?

... I guess it's like those other tiny glowing screens. When I don't like or enjoy you anymore, I'll just swipe left.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


I like gifts. They make me happy. Receiving or giving, They can make me and the people around me smile.

It's too bad though. In the two years I'm gone there's a lot of gifts I can't receive and a lot that I can't give.

Ha! I'm just kidding. I'm giving some anyway. At least a little early, to my family. I love my family. I really do. And I do my best to make right by them. Unfortunately I won't be able to really talk to them over the next few years... So I'm doing a few things early.

Since I know that my siblings currently don't read this blog, I'm going to tell y'all what I just did. Mom & Dad please if you're reading, please don't tell them yet. Gifts are a beautiful thing because they can be a physical manifestation of your love towards another person. Of course sometimes a gift is just an item. So what distinguishes them from each other? What makes a gift more than an item?

Love. Just love. Yeah it could be an $1000 handbag from Morocco, but unless it means something more, it's just a bag. After a while, I found a way to be meaningful in all my presents. The answer is a few more questions. Not for the person you're giving it to, but to yourself. Ask yourself, what do you like most about that person? What's your favorite characteristic of this person? What's your favorite memory of them?

And then after this mini interrogation, find an item that symbolizes that. You see, the key to a good present isn't the present itself, but what it represents to your relationship together. Don't buy a gift card. Don't give cash. It lacks effort, just give an item that means something to them. Take the effort. Take the time. Because isn't that the greatest commodity in the world? Not money. Not oil or energy. But time. It's something everyone has and is constantly running out of. And time shows who you really love. Who do you spend you spend your time with? What do you spend your time on? It's a good indicator on who you care about and what you love to do.

For my siblings and for those I really care about I take my time with my gifts. For my sister, 2 things to show her emotions. One to show her mutual disgust with us and another gift to show how happy I think really is. For my other sister, a comfier room that can connect with what she likes. For my little brother, literally everything else I have. And finally for Mom & Dad... I know I can't give you anything big or fancy... I know I can't give you a lot. But with what I can give I hope you can love. I'm hoping to give you stories. And even though it's not much, I hope you can like it anyway.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Roughly 7 days.

You know... everything was made in seven days.
I've gone through a lot of stressful things in seven days.
You could also call a lot of people to say goodbye in seven days.

Or you could be bored and impatient.

Hi. I'm bored and impatient. I feel ready. I feel confident. I feel good. But seven more days to go I suppose.

Whelp. Almost there.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Am I ready?

Interesting question. Well I guess that depends...

For life? Well I don't know. You tell me. I still play my Xbox and Gamecube. I still find time to run around with a doggo or make jokes about poop or even serenade a plant. So I guess I'm still a kid. And there's nothing wrong with that. I love being a kid. I run around, I always ask questions (no matter how weird or unrelated), and to be honest I kinda like it. For the longest time I hate being called immature, because I've been trying not to be... but sometimes I wonder if it's even working. It's probably what most people are still thinking anyway... so I guess I should just swerve right in the skid and call myself a kid. I'll get there though. I'm learning new things. Every day. I'm trying to see other people's perspective, and I'm being more controlled. Plus I'm starting to create more econ/business pick-up lines. So I guess I'm getting there. Let's just hope I like who I turn out to be.

For love? BAHAHAHAHA no. Am I ever really ready for that devilish 4-letter word? no. It's not something I really feel too often anymore anyway. So I don't really bother too much. Instead I just make a lot of best friends. And that's fine! If you analyze how I treat them, I treat them like my best friends so they are my best friends. Sometimes I do form feelings for them though... and that's annoying but I do my best not to act on it. Because... I don't feel like it's something I deserve. Growing up I watch Disney all the time and it's always the princess marrying the prince. I guess I just never really saw myself as that prince. It's all dandy though! I made a lot of really cool best friends and to be honest a lot of times I loved them more than who I actually dated.

For my mission? Heck yeah. I know I might not be ready for life. Being an immature nerd, life is something I'll probably grow into. I know I'm not ready for love. I mean if I love best friends more than girlfriends, then I'm stupid enough to forget the difference. But for this mission I have no doubts. Not anymore. I'm happy and I'm ready. I know who I need to be. I know what I need to say. And whether or not, I'm just an actor in God's heavenly game, I'm ready. I've read and I've practiced and I've felt the truth of it all. I'm probably being a bit meta right now, but I know who I am. I know where I'm going. And I know how I can teach you to know it too.

I'm ready.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Left behind

An ode to those we left. To those we choose to forget. To those who hurt us. And to those we never forgave.

Wow I just started and I'm already being too meta

What do we do to those people? (Notice I'm already distancing myself with that statement)
Do we forget about them? Casually say hi? Try to bring them back up in our lives? Just nod?

I'm talking about this because a few hours ago I was walking at a mall and nodded at an old friend and then continued to walk on my merry way. The last time we talked, he seemed kinda depressed. He dropped out of community college, academics suck, and he preferred to stay working at a local shoe place. We kept talking and I mentioned how I want to do accounting and etc.

It's strange that the people we spent our last four years with somehow became another stranger. We don't talk, when we do it's awkward, and looking back I don't even have his number or know his last name... At this point it's fair to say that he means little to nothing to me and I'm moving on with my life. I left him behind.

Is that bad? I understand that we should try to help them out or still be friends but at the same time my life still goes on... And it's not like I can change them. If they want to get better they have to put in the effort too. Soooo I guess it might be good to leave some people behind?

I do feel bad for not helping him out as much. In high school we both took the nerdy classes. And it was hard but we both got it down. Somehow though it didn't end up the same. Not even close. And it's not my fault! That's just how life works. Of course there are others who may not even try or want to try. There are also a few who selfishly spend everything they have on only themselves.. But then again... who am I to judge? I'm not Jesus. I shouldn't be the one to decide their worth, or the value of their actions. But what if my friends right now are like that too... that my year old friendship will always be just a friend that I had for a year. Or that one girl I met in BYU is nothing more than that one girl that I met in BYU. Isn't it a bit sad that that might be all there is in that friendship?

Let's take it a bit deeper.What if the one being left behind is me. Yeah I'll go to the Philippines for two years, but time doesn't stop for me. And it certainly won't stop for the people around me. Yeah I'll leave, and life will go on. I do feel like it's the right decision for me to go, but I couldn't help feeling afraid. Not of the mission, but afraid of how people will see me when I get back. I don't want to feel like I was left behind... In that two years even though it wasn't purely academic, I still learned. I still grew. And I promise I became a better person because of it. I guess I'm just afraid that it still won't be enough to feel satisfied. And that's not even all of it.

I'm afraid that when I get home I'll be like every other RM. That I'll look like every other indistinguishable black and white tile on Jesus and Satan's backgammon game. That I'll be another weird, uber-spiritual, unable-to-talk-about-anything-else, always-trying-to-flirt-to-convert, let's-get-married-by-spring, Returned Missionary. And I don't want that... I wanna be me. I'm just afraid that maybe somewhere along the way I'll forget what that means...

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's a necessary pain

This is where all those typical advice fail.
This is where all your hopes and dreams can be made.
Or be crushed.
This is where nothing is ever fair, and nothing is ever deserved or earned.
But somehow it's all a part of life and it makes it a little bit more meaningful.

My friend asked me to talk about love. Or just feels in general. And lemme tell you something. It. Sucks. A lot.

Today I'm gonna talk to you about a slut. Maybe that was a bit strong. About a particular person. Typically I don't care too much about dating and when I do, I often don't give myself the chance. Dating is weird. We open ourselves up, we hope to be liked or at least enjoyed by another person, then we do it again and again until our relationship deepens or until it fades away.

I'm not really that good at it, I mean I use clouds as an excuse to cuddle so I guess I'm not the best. But sometimes... just sometimes it works. You get close, you keep talking, you spend time together, then what? What are you now?

Here. Right here. This is the part that I don't like. It's almost like an ultimatum (because it is). In one hand you can keep going and have a DTR (define the relationship) and actually date, in the other hand it could stop and your friendship will most likely end. Or in my case, take the #weaksauce route and act like a friend. Diving into that forced platonic-ness with a smile. Gosh I love it here (sarcasm).

You know why I hate this part? Because it's crazy how fast things change and just how fast it can affect you. Two weeks ago, she's an ordinary girl who meant as much as a stranger, and now she's here with feels. It's crazy. Maybe at one point you only liked the person for their sense of humor, or a certain quirk, or maybe just their physical appearance. Then BAM! It hits you. Unlike some people who you can get over, these ones aren't like that at all.

They're pretty, and funny, and smart. Can lift all your thoughts and bring feeling back to your heart. Can talk about anything from poetry, to business, and the arts. Can make you a person better than you can ever believe. Or tear you apart farther than you can imagine.

Unlike other people or situations where you can take my #weaksauce way out, they'll force you to trust them, to care, to love... so if it ends... when it ends... you'll be more aware of the hole that that person left there.

But no matter what... that shouldn't be an excuse to close up your heart. Maybe I'm being naive or maybe I'm just too dumb or young or immature to understand it. But feels and love as sucky as it all is, isn't something anyone should give up on. Because no matter how dumb or young or immature anyone is, don't we all deserve love. It's the very best part of being alive. And once you find it... once I find it, it'll make life suck a little less.

And yeah you're probably still right! life and love and everything sucks. Yeah love hurts more often that it heals right now. But when you look at it, you only to succeed once.  I can fail. I can get dumped. I can be shut out and ghosted a million billion times. But if that one girl says yes. Or at least laughs at my stupid accounting jokes. Then at least I know there's something. At least I know there's a chance. I've got a chance.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Recipe

I guess my ego got a bit big didn't it?

In the last few weeks, a lot of people have been greeting me. Saying hi, saying whatever it is they like about me, or says what they'll miss about me. This is bad for my ego... it's inflating a bit too much. But a few of these people asked a different question. They asked my parents, "how did you raise him like this?" One of them even asked me personally, "What made you turn out like this?"

I didn't really have a good answer. So I guess I should make a recipe.

So what made me, me? After a while it was actually kinda simple. First off let's look at what I do most of the day. It's not watching tv or driving or writing, it's listening to music. So that's where I looked first; my music taste. What I found inside was.... me.

There I was. Every good memory. Every bad memory. I can trace my whole life through these songs. Now granted, I have a lot of songs, but a few albums really stuck out in my life. I'll list them out.

-Mylo Xyloto–Coldplay
-Vampire Weekend–Vampire Weekend
-Watch the Throne–JAY Z & Kanye
-Night Visions–Imagine Dragons
-Lasers–Lupe Fiasco
-Death of a Bachelor–Panic! At The Disco
-Cardboard Castles–Watsky
-Hot Fuss–The Killers
-The Click–AJR
-I Love You.–The Neighbourhood
-Hamilton–Broadway Cast of Hamilton
-Red–Taylor Swift
-Waking Up–OneRepublic
-Science & Faith–The Script

Yeah some of those albums are weird or sad or really happy or just what is this?! but after a while, they're a part of me. Sure make fun of me that my personality was based on music or that these are the songs that made me; me. But, don't we all do that to an extent? When it's our birthday don't we sing a song? When we get married don't we sing a song? Whenever a big or small event happens in our life, isn't there at least some kind of background music? And it's true that most of the time we probably don't pay attention or care, but when we hear that dreadful song again... it comes back doesn't it? Those feelings. No matter how happy or sad, it comes back... it always comes back... when we hear these songs.

That's me. Because more often than not, these albums became the background story of my life. And even though they're funny or weird or just plain stupid, whenever I listen to them I remember. I remember what I've done. I remember the things I care about. I remember the things I lost. I remember the friends I've made. And I'm reminded... reminded so many times of the lessons I learned.

And oh golly oh gee oh darnity darn have I learned a lot of random lessons. It's good though. It'll help me a lot in the next two years.

Monday, July 10, 2017

;) s0cI@l $oCiaL (;

10 minutes ago I thought I finally convinced myself that I ran out of things to write about. I guess not.

Social media. You've heard of it. You've probably participated in it too. Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr, or even MySpace. It's normal! It's natural for people at this time to use these sites. But the more I spread out and find people of differing or just stranger beliefs, I've found that a few of my friends don't subscribe to this movement at all. At first I thought it was only one, but when I actually started counting I found 1,2,3,4 – a decent few who aren't into the whole techno get-together. I sound really old. To be honest I only started counting because one of my friends deleted her Snapchat. So I became curious. Why did she do this?

I started scrolling through my Facebook feed. Looking around. And it all looked the same. Exactly like the last time I looked through my Facebook feed. So I kept looking around...

What I found was that something so obvious I already found it in the past. It looked exactly the same. Not just the posts I'm seeing, I mean every post (old or new) looked the same. A distant cousin posting about family that looks a bit too happy, an old guy from church spouting obscure political rants, and friends posting about where they went in their last vacation; like Greece, Indonesia, or Madagascar. Do you know what this means?

It's not even real. The family pictures. They're not happy all the time, ask around. They were probably arguing right before that picture and was arguing about some crab cakes right after. The old people rants, let's be real we all ignore them unless it aligns with what we believe in. Because isn't that all we know? Our beliefs and our perception of other people's beliefs. And my friend's vacations... That just makes me angry. I should feel happy for them but I'm not. I'm partly jealous that I'm not there, and I feel bad about myself for not being there or for not looking as good.

No wonder some of my friends left social media. It stopped feeling real. But then again... talking about real life isn't that much interesting either. Posting about my crippling debt, or family dynamic will definitely feel real! But it won't get me those clicks, those likes. That mini-vibration that's sure to boost my self-esteem.

"Hey guys! my last photo from (insert vacation) that I posted in (insert trendy new app) got (insert large number) likes/hearts/stamps of approval." Posting about superficial smiles isn't going to help you feel something again. If it did, I'd post more on Facebook. But I see the appeal... if you're stuck at a dead end job feeling bored, it's natural to trade in a boring life for an empty storyline. Is this the right fix?

No. I'm not gonna make unnecessary drama. I'm not going to distance myself anymore than I already have. I don't feel close to anyone. It's like my closest relationship isn't even to my mom or dad, only to my phone. I'll talk to them.

Don't you ever just wanna talk to your Dad? Why do I need 14 accounts to talk to my Dad. I'll just yell his name.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Ordinary human

I think everyone needs a humility check every once and a while. A time when we realize "oh yeah that's right! I'm not perfect." And that's totally natural. It's a part of being human.

However even though we make mistakes, it is true that there are some actions that we need to make, even when that action is a mistake. Let's make things clear, I'm far from perfect. I truly am. But whenever I come home, they greet me with the same enthusiasm as war heroes. And yeah I've done good things in my life, but calm down. I'm still an ordinary human. I still have weird thoughts. And at times I post things that I probably shouldn't have.

The last post I made about God, was very sacrilegious and something I shouldn't have done, especially considering I'm supposed to proselyte about Him. But I will not take it down. Yeah it's a mistake... but it's a mistake that I have to make. Maybe I just wanted to feel something again like guilt or shame or imperfections. But no! It's more than that. While I do have faith and I believe in Him, I am not blind. I do question him sometimes and I do find my peace. Maybe I'm just not made right. Or maybe this healthy skepticism isn't skepticism, only an imperfection. Well if it is then screw it! Imperfection is not a weakness. But by at least acknowledging these imperfections, they can be my strength.

Yes a part of me is a sarcastic, weird, and apparently sacrilegious dingus, but you know what? that's me. I'm happy this way. I'm happy being human. And I guess I just gotta keep on yelling till I accept it myself.

But of course a lot of times people just tend to ignore me, my weird thoughts, and my random introspective shit. Soooo let's just do that bro thing where we nod like douches and mutually suppress our emotions okay?


Saturday, July 8, 2017

God. Hi.

It's not that I know better than anyone else. And I don't want to try to assert my beliefs onto anyone. (Wait... I'm going to proselyte for 2 years.... whoops). Anyway the following is a hypothetical conversation with God. Maybe not your God or my God, but for the sake of argument, let's say he's a God who's chill and bored enough to talk to me.

(Starts prayer)
Me: Our dearest Heavenly Father, please protect us and keep us safe–
God: –Please shut up.
Me: Whoa what? I thought you liked my prayers
God: Yeah but every time you pray, you start it that way. Thanks for the reverence bro but "keep us safe?" Really? You literally say that everyday... It's like you know there's a serial killer in the room. Just move somewhere safe.
Me: Well damn aren't you sassy
God: Don't swear at me! You frickin Narwhal... I wrote a book for you telling you to stop being a dick and this is what you do?
Me: What book? Where in the Bible does it say that?
God: So many times! Who needs a thousand metaphors to figure out you shouldn't be a dick?! No wonder that book is so thick.
Jesus: Yeah Dad has a point... Even I didn't think we needed to write "thou shalt not kill," but apparently you needed that just to confirm.
Me: Jesus... I thought you were on my side.
Jesus: I'm a moderator. I'm just making sure it's a level playing field–
Me: –HE'S GOD!! How is this leveling the playing field?!
(Jesus leaves because you don't cut off Jesus and he's done with my crap)
God: To make sure you understand the rules! Everyday I hear some random dude say something a Hindu guy say about some Jewish guy who talked about a Catholic guy's description of me. At this point I'm not sure if you know anything at all.
Me: Well I'm sorry... That's how I was raised. I guess I just didn't know.
God: Then stop complicating things. If you're a son of God, then doesn't that mean that I used to be like you before I was a God? I get pissed off too and I get confused too. Or at least I used to, or know how it feels. So just calm down and just be nice.
Me: That's really cool... God? May I ask you a question? Are you happy with us?
God: I'm not gonna lie, mostly because I can't, but sometimes I don't believe in you.
Me: Oh... So I believe in God but He doesn't believe in me.
God: I don't mean that necessarily towards you. It's that all of you pray and sing your hymns but what do you do next? What's the point of even believing in me if you don't practice what you believe in? If you truly want me to be proud of you then be nice. Act on it. Be like your main man Jesus.
Me: Lol don't say that. I don't want Jesus to have an even higher ego... Heavenly Father? Could you direct my life? For the better ya know because I want you to believe in me. I want to be a good servant for you... or at least an okay missionary.
God: Bruh I've been directing your life... the whole time. Don't worry I gotchu. Just pray like you mean it and be nice, and you'll be fine.

Sorry for being a sacrilegious piece of trash. But I can't be this open for a while so I might as well let it all out now. Sorry not sorry.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Never Let it Die

My writing style. My attitude. My beliefs.

About 18 days. In about 18 days, my life will change. It's not anything too dramatic of course! No fire nation attacking or long lost relationship, if that's what you were hoping for. I'm simply leaving.

For the next two years I'll leave and serve the people of Urdaneta Philippines. It'll be a fun time I promise. But I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't miss anything. Today I was compiling emails and I realized that I made so many friends. So many that I'll miss. So many that I had fun meeting. And so many who taught me to become better than who I already am.

I learned a lot from them. And I'll never forget that. I'll never let it die.

In this transition, I was asked a few times if it was all going to change. If this mission will change my beliefs and writing. It won't. I'll still be me. I'll still be #liberalmormonhippie who blogs, loves accounting, and is still very much a kid. I will change a little because even though I'm literally half a world away, I'll still keep on learning. But that doesn't mean I'll forget who I am. Maybe that hippie won't be as loud, or will learn a few more religious quotes, but I'll still be that hippie who says hi to strangers and is awkward as hell.

I promise you that. That my writing, my attitude, my beliefs... I'll never let it die.
And if I can't live up to that, then comment and burn my weird ass.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


So today what did I do? Well I know I did some pretty fun things tonight (; But before we go there let's start from the beginning of my day.

This is a weird format... I'm usually half incoherent when I write here but I'll actually try to make this chronological and about my day. First off I woke up. It was fairly early, about 10:45 AM (I can't wake up... life is gonna suck waking up early for two years). Ate some breakfast then dressed up and got ready. I looked at my phone and realized one of my friends just left. We already called yesterday so we made our peace, but I texted goodbye again anyway.

Today, my agenda was to meet up with two really cool people. My AP Gov teacher who's really funny and helped improve my reading, compassion, and public speaking skills and one of my bestest friends in high school who helped me find my testimony, helped me with my homesickness and issues in high school, and believe-it-or-not helped me choose accounting for my major. They're both really great people and I honestly wouldn't have been me without their help.

Anyhoo I first met up my teacher at an incredible restaurant In N Out (it's dabombdiggidy). We talked about life, BYU, and what the hell is a missionary. It was fun. We ate food and it made me miss senior year a bit. That was a fun time and even though a lot of drama went down that year, it was a good year for me. I made some great friends, some terrible mistakes, and learned more about myself. When we were done eating we hugged, took a picture, and said the same thing every pre-missionary kid would say, "see ya in 2."

Next up my bestest friend. I went to her house picked her up and off to Santa Cruz. Whenever we hangout we always go on a bit of a road trip. I honestly don't know why but it always feels like it's a thing we should do. Last time I saw her we drove to Cupertino and Palo Alto, another time we went to San Francisco for lunch, and this time I'm looking for a sexy banana slug in Santa Cruz. We went to the boardwalk and went on some rides, ate food, and did other fun stuff that I can't really remember because my short-term memory is terrible. OH! And I scared her with my driving as usual. It's not that I'm a bad driver or anything, but I drive very aggressively. SAFELY! but also aggressively... We finally caught up with each other's lives. I needed that. She's still pursuing accounting, and still doing other things (that I do not have her permission to say so I'm not saying it). We probably hung out for a little over 5 hours and while it was fun we didn't have time to get ice cream. It's okay though maybe next week after I watch BOM the musical. I didn't find a banana slug, but instead ended up buying 2 pairs of socks. And I'm fine with that because holy geez they're really nice socks. Thank you capitalism.

I came home a little earlier than expected and cooked some dinner. Steak and asparagus. Today's a good day but it's not over yet. When I moved to California from Minnesota I heard that they had a lot of really cool parties and raves here in California and it's true! They're pretty frickin cool. The best part is, the night life can be amazing in the Bay Area if you look for it. So tonight I decided to do something cool too. I went around and you know what I did last night?
I cried myself to sleep.
Don't you love human feelings?

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


I'm getting boring aren't I?

Say enough stories and they fall asleep, but hey! I'm a storyteller. It's what I do.

And I know you could probably argue that I should change my content a bit and say other crap that doesn't have a deeper moral background or lesson, but it's what feels right. I'll try to add some other variety but let's be real, deep stories are my skill. A lot random stuff happens in life and writing about them helps. Because life isn't really that bad. Sure there's disease and death and whatever, but it doesn't have to be sad. Deep sure, and maybe depressing however it can be more than that. As bad as it may be, in a different perspective it could be happy or even funny.

Also why should I care what you think? I know that I love pleasing you, but this blog is not made for you. I'm just here to write stories for the sake of telling them. Though I care about your opinion, rarely does it ever make me change this blog.

Because this isn't about pleasing you. If it was, I would try to pander more and more to whatever it is you're feeling. That's not my intention. My intention is something more selfish. It's to make you feel uncomfortable. I want to make you feel uneasy. It's the only way people can learn, by adapting to something strange. And that's what I want to do, not to make you feel weird all the time, but just enough. Just enough to clear my head. Just enough to bring perspective. Just enough to bring some peace.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Life is not simple

Well duh!

I think everyone already figured that out. It's complicated with a lot of random crap, lengthy backstories, unnecessary drama, and meaningless work.

Life is like a K-Drama but bad.... oh wait... isn't all of them bad? Nope nevermind. Boys Over Flowers is a great show. If my life was like that show... then dang my hairstyle looks like a croissant, and I need better lighting.

I'm digressing. I swear this happens in about every post... Life is complicated. A lot of things happen and we turn to what we trust or love to find answers. Whether it's in scriptural text, parental advice, friendly moral support, or even Taylor Swift's lyrics (which is stupid by the way... trusting song lyrics has the same gravitas as a fortune cookie from Panda Express), we look to these words and phrases and it'll help us. Is that enough though?

And once we get the answer isn't it over?

No! Of course not. As smart as I am, I am still a dingus (aren't we all?). And we forget, we're stupid, and sometimes we make mistakes even when we know those actions are a mistake. This is why we keep looking for advice, why we constantly try to better ourselves. Because the answer to life is not simple. It's not just to be brave, or to be strong, or to kill yourself. It's always something more, something valiant, something enduring, and takes more than a lifetime.

You see it's hard to find answers to the big questions in life. I mean of course the question, "what is the meaning of life?" is a big question, but that's because it has a big answer. The answer is anything and everything that matters to you. It's not about what you need or what you want or what you deserve, but what you believe in. This is why I'm telling to look harder than than those random quotes, or friendly advice, or Taylor Swift's songs.... Because those things are not you. Maybe a part of you but not everything else. You, like all of us, are hugely complicated and amazing with a multifaceted identity. Sometimes it's just hard to grasp it all.

We make mistakes over and over again, but the things we truly love and believe in will always be there, will always be repeated in our minds, to remind ourselves that this is what I'm looking for. That this is what I believe is true. That this is me.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Blog > Journal

Oh jeezum crow?!

I've been blogging so much lately, I haven't touched my journal in a while. Strange....
Anyway I'm back home now and missing my brother's track meet but that's okay because I'm cooking celebratory fried chicken for when he wins, or sympathy chicken for when he loses.

Life is so good right now. I'm part of the super duper secret club now and to be honest sometimes it literally feels itchy but I'm getting used to it. To be honest even though it was supposed to be secret and everything, I feel like I've done this before. Right in the middle I had a legitimate deja vu moment and I knew what was going to happen next, what I was supposed to wear, what I was supposed to do, it was really strange...

My parents thought I was going to be slow but I feel like I saw it all coming.
I wrote more in my journal, not on here, because some parts a lot of parts of this story is personal. I guess I'm going to be more secretive now mwahahaha

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


What we need. What we want. What we deserve.
Three things that gets mixed up in my life one way or another.

Oh umm by the way I'm talking about this because I said the word expectations when looking at Snapchat's new map thingamajig feature. How did I get these thoughts from that? I have no idea... my head just keeps going. Faster than my mouth if you can believe that.

Anyhoo back on topic.

Now of course, these things don't just affect me... they affect all of us. For example let's talk about people, feelings, and friendships. (I was going to talk about Snapchat to relate to how I got this idea but I'm still fairly annoyed at that feature so I'm using something else)

Friends. Do we choose them? In a way a little bit. We can always choose who to talk to first or which nerd to flirt with, but that's only the first few impressions. How come some of them get to stay?Maybe it's just me but it's feelings. Not necessarily romantic feelings but at least a sense of care or loyalty. To the ones who do stick around with my weirdness, they have the agency to leave whenever they want, but they're still here. They still care, no matter how much I try to forget some of them (different story), they do care about me and still talk to me. Maybe feelings wasn't the best word to use, but if it's not that then I honesty don't know what is... My point is, I don't get to decide who stays or who I remember. In high school I thought I'd only be friends with theatre nerds or future accountants, but that's not what happened at all. I kept talking and somehow I made the weirdest friends. And I don't regret it for a second, but I will admit that I didn't expect it at all.

Mission. I will admit that for 4 months I manipulated the Book of Mormon, prophetic revelations, and my own feelings to say that, "Heavenly Father does not love me and does not want me to serve a mission." A mission is not what I wanted. And although it's what I needed (and still need) I rejected any knowledge of that for a few months. It was so bad that this topic became taboo in my mind. Whenever it came up, I became angry. I was conflicted within myself and became obsessed with what I deserve. That I deserve to graduate early. That I deserve to be successful and I can do it without this mission. That I deserve to always follow my wants and needs above God's or anyone else's...

I became a selfish butt. And it took a bit to get me back. Whether it was something divine or just prioritizing and acknowledging what I need to do, I got back.

Last example: love. Remember that post a few weeks back that basically said what my type is? Well, this is a rebuttal. Let's refresh shall we? Most guys have very realistic expectations of what they want in a girl. For example girl for me is nerdy, cute, awesome, perfect, nice, sweet, charitable, (insert synonyms) I can go on... but like other guys we also acknowledge that this girl is taken, dead, or sees you as an attractive lump of potatoes. We think we're a gift but I promise, we're not. Naturally. So guess what? WE LOWER OUR EXPECTATIONS. Maybe it's just the realistic side of me talking but it's true that we need companionship, but often our wants doesn't align with what we get and that's okay! That doesn't make it bad. Because don't we all deserve love? Even in the days that aren't our best, it's what makes life worth living. So yeah, maybe I won't get the perfect girl, but that doesn't mean I won't fall for her anyway.

Expectations are so weird. One of my close friends came back from Europe and saw me as a different person. I guess I wasn't what she was expecting. Meeting me for the first time, each person probably has a different expectation for me too. But regardless of how you see me, it's still life. I'm still me. I know I'm weird. I know I've made mistakes. I know I've got flaws. I know I'm not perfect. But all the ups and downs will soon be worth it when I get there. And I'll get there.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The following are quotes my family or I have said in the process of moving back home from college for the summer.

Take it!
Leave me alone!
What the butts is this?
Why do I own 3 irons?
If I poop here, I don't have to poop in Nevada and Nevada sucks.
Guys we're Mormon #allwivesmatter
If I was an x-men I'd be Professor Xavier because I wanna be in a f***ing wheelchair
Look! more dirt.
Are we there yet?
According to my calculations, there's nothing here.
Hehe hehehe salt.
Shoot I think I forgot something!
Did they almost die?
I'm so done with your audiobook
Why does everyone here wear overalls?
Ahhh moo-bears (cows)
I think I just hit a bird...
Ahhh traffic, how I missed you
I have some really emo songs
Mom... can you pay for gas?
That's one sexy chicken
You smell that weed? that's how you know we're close
I'm home.

Sunday, June 25, 2017


OSH-JAY WHAT THE HELL (I'm hiding his real name... But lemme give you another hint, it rhymes with mosh)

So why am I bashing Mosh.... Well you see it's simple. Or simpler than the last few posts.

Story Time

Once upon a time an Asian Narwhal embarked on an adventure called college. College is a fun place with great opportunities for learning, discovering yourself, or in this case learning nothing at all. Usually other fun things happen in college, whether its meeting new friends, eating food, or having a friend play with my narwhal, college is a great exciting place! Unfortunately this story is not one of those things.

Going into this one university, I already knew it was fairly religious... just a tad. And that's okay! Every morning when I look in a mirror I always say, "Holy **** I'm a Narwhal," which means I'm a holy narwhal.
(I'm digressing)
Anyhoo in college we made a good group of friends. Some joined a bit late like this one redheaded dingus (digressing again) but it was still really fun. All of them were great friends and it was great when we were all physically there. But when people started to leave we realized something...
I really believe that some of them are extremely immature. And that's me saying that... the holy narwhal...

All Most of us are planning to go on missions and to the ones that don't, has a valid reason. They don't feel prompted to, they're not Mormon, they're against the whole mission thing, whatever. That's fine! I truly respect that. But one person in this group truly wants to, but his bishop (church leader) said no.

Let's talk about Mosh; i.e. osh-jay, this dingus, *cough cough* JOSH *cough cough*. His bishop did not want him to go because he believes that Mosh is too immature (and weaksauce). And quite frankly I have to agree. It's not that he's really bad or a bad person or anything, but he can't handle or tolerate any beliefs contrary to his own. Whenever it's a mature conversation, or a slightly crude one, or one about other beliefs, he leaves. In his defense, I do understand that there are times when it gets a bit uncomfortable and so he's just trying to play it safe, but I don't think that's an excuse to banish all other thought.

One time during spring he came to me and said no one was talking to him, like he was a pariah. But to be honest, wasn't that how he was treating us? The moment one of us talked about something contrary, we removed himself (very dramatically) from our groupchat.

Another friend in the group, he's a bit of an antimormon or jackmormon but he's smart about it so I like him, asked me why Mormons do this all the time. Why do we hide in a bubble? How we act, how we treat other people, how we perceive the world... To him, it was almost like brainwashing because the moment a guy like Mosh goes out in the real world, he can't function. It as if, he was made to work only in that bubble. How are we expected to preach and baptize the world, if we don't even try to understand who we're baptizing?

**deep sigh sound** (I don't know how to write that sound)

We do our best to spread some good news... a good message... but how is it going to be effective if no one thinks it's real... how is it going to change people's lives for the better, if all we're teaching them to do is to be more socially awkward. Sometimes I wonder if our "cult"ure is actually helping. And overall I think it is. But not like this. Not by running away from sin. Not by running away from opposing beliefs. Because, that's why opposition is here. It's to help us grow, and learn, and be closer to the people around us, to teach us about us. This is why Adam fell... for us to learn and improve and evolve isn't it? So why are we holding ourselves back like this? We need to learn to honor our beliefs without degrading theirs.

So let's keep on learning.

Dare to fight your fears.
Dare to stand strong.
Dare to learn more.
Dare to be yourself.
Dare to stand alone.

And to bring back that Millennial mood, dare to be better than #weaksauce.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


I hate censorship. I really do. Censorship suppresses the natural thought of every writer. And though secrets are a natural thing to have (especially as we grow up), I don't growing up should be an excuse to hide. If anything, isn't growing a reason to be more honest or more direct with others and yourself?

But I'm human and I'm a hypocrite too.

There are 2 or 3 fairly sensitive topics on this blog that I'm removing. Not because I've changed my beliefs on them, but because they can cause a fair amount of sadness and doubt.


But that's why I'm giving you the following option. If you would like to read them, just email my work email and I'll send those posts happily.
  • BYU I Do
  • Polygamy should be legal. No it's not because I'm Mormon
  • Love and Objectification
These three posts have been removed and won't come back anytime soon (sorry not sorry). I do feel really bad about this because I took time to write these. I did my best and I wrote down what I believe is best at the time, and what I still believe now.

Looking back at these posts do make me feel a bit nostalgic, and although I believe that all stories are meant to be said... I suppose some stories aren't meant to be heard.  

Am I happy?

A friend asked me that question a little while ago.

Maybe I'm doubting this too much. Or maybe it's just boredom, existential thought, puberty, and awkwardness melding together to make a giant blob of me.

What's the problem?

I'm fine. I'm good. Life is together.
I have a family, I have a plan, I have a bed, I have a future. I have a mission.
Is there anything else I need?

I know I'm doing the right thing but sometimes I wonder if it's what I truly want.
You see as much as I love it, my biggest problem is you.
I want to please you....
I want to honor you....
I want to serve you.... But I need to be true to myself.
I want to give you what you deserve.... But I want to say what I think.

A part of me loves you.
A part of me hates you.
A part of me needs you.
A part of me fears you.

And honestly sometimes... I don't know if I can handle it.
I'm 19 and I'm a dork and I don't know if I can handle it right now.
I don't know if I'm ready for it at all.

But I have to go. I know I'll never be ready so I might as well just go.

"I don't know if I can handle this right now" -missionary confessions

After our conversation we hugged and she laughed a little bit. Watching as I give something I cannot give myself.

Friday, June 23, 2017

One Day You Will:

See me again.
Come back.
Hear my voice.
Be proud.
Laugh at me.
Hike the mountains.
Show me the stars.
Teach me to climb.
Share your soul.
Listen to it all.
Speak with confidence.
Hold him again.
Simply rest.

An audience.

You know I could write something right now to satisfy an audience. Or to perform and feel satisfied about what I'm saying or what I believe. Then again, all I know are my beliefs and what I think other people believe.
Nah I'm too tired for this. Screw the audience I need sleep. Goodnight.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Turn it off

"Like a light switch. Just go 'click!'
It's a cool little Mormon trick!
Turn it off. Turn it off!" -Book of Mormon the Musical

This quote is from the Book of Mormon the Musical and it focuses on LDS (Mormon) attitudes on homosexual feelings; that the best way to handle homosexuality is by simply turning it off.

No I am not gay. My purpose right now isn't to reveal some underlying sexuality or anything like that. I'm here to show the similarity of that quote with our views on platonic friendships or to find peace in being a platonic friendship.

Question: do platonic relationships exist?

Before I start I need to define what this means, just in case. Platonic describes a relationship that is purely spiritual and not physical. If a boy and a girl hangs out all the time and are not dating, or does not have an intimate physical aspect, then they'd describe their relationship as platonic.
They do exist! It's a bit rare but imagine being in the friend-zone and being happy to be there. That's what being platonic is all about. I only know of a few existing right now and to be honest, even then it's not that perfect sometimes.

Follow-up Question: how do they form?

I can think of 3 ways that they can form. Either it was natural, it took some time, or it was forced by one of them. It was natural. There are some people that I meet who I just have no physical feelings for whatsoever. They may be pretty cute or even the perfect girl but somehow any physical aspect becomes so taboo it's avoided like those inherently evil crimes such as incest. And because of that they will always be just a friend, no matter what.
There are some platonic relationships that simply took their time. Maybe I had feelings for her or vice versa but over time it just disappeared. And that's not wrong or anything. It happens. Sometimes though it's because someone was rejected. Lemme tell you a story. Imagine a boy named Wilson asked Ari on a date. Ari, believing it was an innocent friend date, agrees. On the other hand, Wilson is actually in love with Ari for their whole friendship. During the date Wilson admits to his feelings and Ari does not reciprocate. At this point they have a choice... to either end their friendship due to complications and sheer awkwardness, or to make it platonic (or at least visually platonic) to continue the friendship.

Follow-up Question: do you want platonic relationships to exist?

Sometimes yes. Almost exclusively this happens when it's forced. In the last few months I've had a few opportunities to date around or to form an actual deep relationship. To be honest, I would love to do that. I wouldn't mind dating my friend and quite frankly I really miss cuddling. But I know I can't. My focus shouldn't be on girls... it should be on academics or on serving others. I can't have my mind in the gutter and hope to love or marry a girl (who let's be real is waaaaaaaayyyy out of my league). Maybe later... but it's not the right time...

So I turned it off... I told myself to keep it platonic. I'm doing my best to avoid flirting and if I do, I'll apologize. I know I'm not perfect and I might slip up... but I can't stop now. My calling isn't to serve with the intention to marry whoever's writing to me. My calling is to serve selflessly and by sacrificing those other worldly things. So I tell myself to keep it that way. That if I do form feelings for someone, I just need to remind myself that "it's best that I'm alone," or "it's not your time yet," or "your emotional needs are not as important as the needs of others."

"Isn't that a bit harsh?" -an old friend

Yeah... you can argue that hiding what you actually feel is unhealthy. You can argue that what I'm doing is wrong. You can argue that I'm only hurting myself. You can argue that sacrificing your personal needs are just too much...

But somehow... It'll all workout. Even if it's not something I fully want to do. Letting go of what I emotionally want is what I need to do right now...

Besides... it's not like there's another option anyway.

It's not what you want. It's not what you deserve. But it's what you need to do.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What should define you?

First of all. I think it's ironic that this post has two labels at the bottom.

Anyway. Existential crisis time. Who are you?

It's a simple question. You say your name, they give theirs, and you proceed to move on with your day. But who are you really?

You could tell me your GPA or major or ACT or purity test number or any other number you think will define you. You could also tell me your dreams and aspirations. You could tell me about your parents or religion and what they want you to be. Or become the guy that that one girl in your calculus class may fall for. Or maybe even by your favorite pizza. Personally I see myself as a Sicilian pizza. But whatever you choose to do, don't ever forget that it's your choice and you can change it if you want.

I don't think identity is something other people should define for you. It's something that you come to know for yourself. Whether it's on a service trip or in school or on a date, we make the choice of deciding who we are. Because contrary to popular belief (at least in religion), you can decide what truly has meaning in your life.

Yes it's true you can make it religion, but it doesn't have to be one singular topic. It can be dance with accounting and climbing and so many other things. But don't be something else just to satisfy others.

When I was little and even now, my ward saw me as the perfect boy in my ward (church congregation). Did everything I had to do, passed everything, extremely social, highly academic, and even though all of those factors were there, I was not happy. Was it a good life? Yes of course! But that's not the same thing. And when I finally committed a mistake or wrongdoing I punished at a higher level. But I didn't let that get to me. Sure I can go to the default setting of my depression, or feel pathetic about the things I've done wrong. But I won't let that be me. It's true that these beautiful mistakes helped create me, but I still have the choice to see myself as something more. To allow my clarity or good acts define me.


Because the more that we mature and grow up, your identity becomes infinitely more important. I mean if you don't even know yourself, how do you expect someone else to know who you are? Take it a step further. If you can't love yourself or feel confident in yourself, then why are you expecting that girl or boy to feel different.

Of course there are times when they probably don't even care. In fact, depending on the person it can be quite the opposite. I know in my life I've had times when I had to decide whether I should pursue a girl or just be myself. Because too often, they conflict with one another.


But you know what? No matter what identity you decide or stick to in the end, as long as you're happy with who you are, then is there anything more to ask for? For the significant maybes and lost opportunity costs, it's okay. There are always more to come and it's best to stay optimistic. Don't ruin a friendship because it didn't work out. Make new memories. Do something crazy. Because in the end, when we forget all that there is, when their names seem like a dream, we'll only remember how it feels.

Monday, June 12, 2017

More stories to tell

It's a very human feeling. I'm sure everyone at one point or another has felt loss. Whether it's a simple goodbye or the last time you ever a friend, it has happened or will soon happen.

Why am I blogging about this...

Oh yes. Missionary life, college, choosing to leave. Yeah. I remember.
I moved a few times in my life. Sometimes I didn't care because I was too young, and sometimes it really hurt me a lot. For example I remember watching inside out and bawling because I remembered moving from Minnesota to the Bay Area.

To be honest though... I think that's why I'm so happy. Why I love talking and making and impression on people. I leave often enough that I'm just scared that my conversation with you will be my last (or at least for a long while) so I might as well make it worth it with what little time I have left (;

In 46 days I will leave on my mission. Unlike the past few times I moved, this time it's my choice. I am choosing to leave everything behind, to serve, and to do what I believe is right.

I know a fair amount of my friends were against me serving. Hell. I was against serving a mission for a while. But after a while, it's something that I've come to know to be true.

I'm done being a bitch to revelation. I'm done rejecting what's right in front of me. I need to accept what's going on and be happy. And I am. This mission is something I want to do.

I know I'm not the perfect guy, nor the perfect Mormon boy. Looking back I swore twice just in this post (I'll cross it out). But I need to say that even though I am choosing to leave my life for two years, that does not mean I'm doing it with blind faith. I know I'm leaving my friends behind and to be honest I am struggling with it (as most missionaries do).

I can already imagine missing my mom and my family and all my friends. I'll be gone. But that's alright. Because one day, whether it's a day after I leave or 6 months from now, you'll smile and I'll know that you're still happy. That you'll always find the strength to move on.

Besides while everyone's doing their own thing, I'll be in the Philippines. And somehow somewhere, I'll do something stupid as always, hoping to find more stories to tell.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

More normal

So I failed my first midterm today.

I always made fun of Grayson for school. Nothing too bad of course! Just friendly sarcasm whenever he gets an okay grade...

And then I tell him I got 100% in accounting or something along those lines, at which point he yells at me saying.

"FRICK YOU!" (Wait... did he say frick or another word.... I can't remember)

Anyway... academic wise I think he admired my work ethic. Even though I hung out with friends until 6:30A.M. every other day, I was the one able to sustain multiple jobs, maybe an internship, and a little bit more credits than normal.

And you know I respect him too. He's a really smart guy in some topics like environment and cars.

But because of this admiration I think he saw me as an insane nerd. Until today (well... technically yesterday).

I failed my first midterm test today. It never happened to me before and you know it's pretty humbling.

I guess this makes me more normal.

Missionaries: A Confession on their Lives.

Early to bed.
Early to rise.
Grumpy prayers.
Random partners.
New investigators.
Work. Hard work.

The life of a missionary.

You know I'm not even a missionary yet. I really don't know what it would even feel like, so I'm probably not the best person to describe it.

I'm very excited to be honest. A lot of food, fun times to come, and more stories to tell. Whenever you ask a missionary about their 2 year service experience they always tell you the good about it.
"Totally worth it!"
"It was a life-changing experience"
But let's be real... Being a missionary doesn't make us perfect. Maybe more obligations and more responsibilities... but not perfect. Bad things still happen. We still get sick. Some of us die. We have terrible days too.

Things are bound to happen. Whether it's accidentally taking a dump in your pants (which happens... apparently), or falling in love with an investigator. Things happen. We're not perfect.

Luckily.... we don't have to be.
As long as we try.
A little bit harder.
And just be willing.
To say one word.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What do I look for?

A few days ago I talked to an old friend and she asked me what do I look for in a girl? She wasn't interested in me or anything, she was simply curious because she's afraid that she's stuck in the friendzone.

Personally I kinda like the friendzone sometimes. It makes for some quality late-night talks.

WAIT A MINUTE. HOLD ON.... I'm going on a two year lent... why am I even talking about this?
Oh wait... I remember... my buddy o'friend o'pal Elizabeth told me to write about love.

Anyhoo let's keep going. I kept talking to my old friend and to be honest I can't remember the entire conversation. All I fully remember was finishing my dialogue and seeing a tear roll down her face. She gave me a hug and told me, "that was beautiful."

Now it's about three weeks later and I think I finally remember what I said (or at least something close to what I said).

Disclaimer: This list is a prototype dream girl list, and to be honest I highly doubt this will ever happen in my life. If it does happen though... HOLY GEE DANG!?

1. Likes/loves me, or simply appreciates my presence. This one is probably the most important. To at least have the ability to tolerate me in my best AND worse time. This requirement isn't just for being a lover, it's also for just being a friend. I want to be able to be myself... and as strange as I may be sometimes, it would be great if they can handle my weirdness about half the time haha.

2. Cute/looks okay. As perfect as I try to be, I'm still human. And a part of my human self is slightly superficial. In the past I have liked and/or dated the following: European mixed (blonde, brunette, and redhead), Latina, Indian, Asian. Basically... I don't care too much about race.

3. Can hold a conversation. One of my favorite activities are taking long walks/drives. It's a great way to know myself, the people I'm with, and the place I'm in. However, if there's no conversation going on at all, then it's just awkward silence. Of course there's reasonable silences, but I don't want to make it awkward. I want to be able to know her and just have a good quality talk.

4. Intelligent/clever/witty. All three, or a combination of the three. In my life I value education and organization as the recipe to being a successful person. Without it, a person's life becomes dependent and can fall apart easily. Strive to keep learning or to at least do something more with the day.... and it's kinda hard to keep up sometimes but it's okay. With these new information, it's important to be open-minded yet skeptical of the truth, and though it's hard, it can also be quite fun to learn. I want to be able to talk about a complex or strange topic and not slowing down for definitions or other unnecessary considerations.

5. Sacrifice. This attribute is specifically from my parents. Both of my parents are engineers. Did they always dream of becoming engineers? Most likely not. But as they matured it's the career path that they realized will help them the most in life. Though I also value happiness and being happy, I personally value women who are willing to sacrifice some of their goals for what needs to be done or for what is more productive. Not the one who choose the easy way out, but the woman who intentionally chooses the harder path because it will help her become stronger. To all the female accountants. To all the female engineers. To all the female doctors and lawyers and other professionals. To all those who sacrificed what they want for what they need, I salute you.

6. Self-worth and confidence. Even if this person doesn't satisfy everything else above, just being happy for who you are is one of the hardest morals to learn in life. Having the confidence to being yourself and being you is brilliant. You're a character. You're special. You're the only you in the world, so be yourself and be proud.

7. Kindness, Respect, and Charity. This one doesn't need any explanation.

I told her all of this or at least a paraphrased version of this and a tear came down. She asked if I ever dated or had a crush on any girl who had these qualities. I answered yes... to almost all of them. I'm skipping the rest of this conversation. We both said our goodbyes and I went to bed.

Before you comment or anything like that, I'm writing this at 2:01AM... please forgive my grammar and writing. Also these are not in any order of importance.