Why Are We Playing Games Instead of Solving Problems?

Let’s talk about something real for a change. I’m tired of hearing about the evils of Obama and Obamacare and how he’ll be a socialist that will change everything. I’m tired of hearing about how Mitt Romney sucks and it was good that he lost the election. I’m tired of the same old liberal and conservative dogma that gets bandied about so easily. All of that BS distracts us from what we really need to be concerned about and what we really need to do something about.

Before I start into that, let me say something: Republicans suck. Libertarians suck. Yes, I most closely identify with them, but not so much that I can’t call them as I see them. They don’t have a real message behind that appeals to those who want to change the world for the better. On the surface, they seem like they are into regression. Democrats and liberals, on the other hand, talk a good talk about changing the world for the better and even throw money at organizations doing this, as long as they tow the party line.

I’m for real change, change that I can believe in. I’m against regression. I’m a progressive(maybe not in the way you think) in that I think we all need to be progressing, not just individually, but collectively. We got so many real, honest to goodness problems in this world and what are we really doing about them? I can’t believe that such a large percentage of the world’s population is without adequate drinking water, proper sanitation, adequate nutrition, proper cooking fuel, and basic education.

Think about it? These are real problems that can be solved, right now. What are we doing about them? Nothing, we spend our time ranting about how Obama wants to take away our guns or how he’ll increase taxes. You go on and on about so many problems that really can’t be solved and really are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Think about it, what is more important, a new flat screen TV or a child learning how to read or write?

Conservatives and Libertarians like to retort that people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and forego government assistance. I agree with that, mostly, but they don’t have any real answer for the children who suffer because of bad choices that their parents make.

These real problems are solvable if we put our minds and hearts into it. We have to playing political games and brinkmanship and instead we need to focus on doing what is right. We need to use our knowledge and our capacities in whatever way we can in reducing the suffering of our fellow man. I really think that the ways the liberals are trying to “solve” the problems are just plain wrong. It’s time, and that time is now, that we use true and eternal principles to help our fellow man reach his full potential.

Envisioning My New Mission

Missionary work, missionary work, missionary work. As I made have said before on this blog, I was a Evangelical Christian missionary in Thailand. I don’t talk about it a lot because I’m embarrassed of that time. I have strong opinions about Evangelical Christian missionary work and they are negative, but this post isn’t about that. It’s about what missionary work should be like.

Missionary work should be about helping people achieve their full potential. I think this fits in well with the Mormon model, though I don’t know if it’s said quite like that. If we spend our time helping our fellow man reach his full potential, think about what great things we could see in the world. Think about how much awesome talent is being wasted in this world. Think about how many have decided to either ignore their real and genuine talents or have decided to utilize them in ways that lead to destruction.

Someone who doesn’t know the Gospel is not just an “unsaved” man, but he’s a man who is not reaching his full potential in at least one area of his life. If he isn’t reaching his full potential in one area, then there are probably other areas in his life that are lacking as well. Think about that for a moment.

Did you think about it? In that respect if you help someone reach their full potential in correct principles then you are doing missionary work. That’s what I think. Yeah, you’re right. I’m probably wrong, but I don’t think so.

In that sense of a mission, I’ve had the potential to be on a mission for the last 15 years, but I haven’t done nearly enough. I can’t think that I’ve done a lot to help people reach their full potential in correct principles. That changes. It changes now.

Don’t look at a man as he is right now, but envision a man at his full potential.

My mission from this moment forward is to help the people that I can help reach their full potential. I’m not going out to convert people to my religion. That’s not my thing. There are other people to do that. I am going to help people solve real problems in their life so that they can increase their potential. I’m going to teach with a new vigor, knowing that my teaching is helping them increase their potential in a part of their life.

How Do I Carefully Slide?

When you live abroad, you get a chance to see lots of different signs that make you say huh?!!! Case in point would be the picture below.

I took this picture on the stairs of a local restaurant and this brought to mind several questions. Is the guy in the picture carefully sliding? Should I do the same instead of normally going down the stairs? Is carefully sliding a skill akin to surfing or skim boarding? Do I get an award for carefully sliding down the stairs? What about careless sliding? If I careless slide down the stairs will I get in trouble?

Unfortunately, the waitress was unable to answer my questions and I have to accept that I’ll never know the answers…..

Them Cows Were Stoned

I go out walking every morning here. I usually try to go out at about 8am, but sometimes I find myself out walking a bit later. I try to do at least a mile, but often walk at least three miles. I find it really helps the body get ready for the day and put a focus on it. If I don’t get up and moving then I find it hard to ever really get in gear. With my busy schedule this fall, I need to do it. The 30 minutes to an hour spent walking repays itself dividends throughout the day in terms of increase productivity.

But increased productivity is just part of it. Things are interesting out here and you never know what you are going to find on a morning walk. Just this morning, I was walking along and in the back of a small trucks where these two cow heads. I assume they are cows though they could have been bulls or whatever. Let’s just call them cows. Anyways, I couldn’t help but stop and look at these and pull out my camera phone for a picture.

As I looked at them, I realized two things. They seemed to be happy and they seemed to be content. After looking at the picture here on the computer, it was apparent that these cows look stoned.

Yep, walking around in the morning allows you to see stone dead cow heads.

Waiting For Gas In Karamay

In the city I live in, natural gas pipes are being installed in older buildings. This is by edict of the local government. Good news, no longer do LPG gas tanks need to be delivered to homes. This is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly development…..on paper.

Like many foreigners in China, we live in an apartment rented by our employer. We are about 3 or 4 layers removed from the actual owner of the building. Any problem takes a long time to solve. Do you see where this is going?

A natural gas pipe and meter were installed in our apartment back in July and we were told to await the forthcoming installation of natural gas in just a few weeks. Our existing gas tank was just about empty so I went ahead and ordered a replacement because I know a few weeks can turn into a few months. July and August passed without natural gas being turned on. I wasn’t surprised at all.

As September dragged on, it was clear that we were running out of gas. I asked for a replacement and then got the unsettling phrase “big problem.” If you are abroad and someone tells you something is a little problem, you can expect it’s a big problem. If they tell you something is a big problem, then Katy bar the door. Getting a replacement gas tank was going to be a very very very big problem.
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Positive Change: Why I Returned To University

I want to talk today about going back to university. I haven’t really talked online seriously about the changes and plans that I have been making over the last year or so. Sure, I have alluded to them, but haven’t really talked about them. I have many, but today I’m going to talk about going back to the University.


Let me start with some background. I went to college in 1990 right after I completed high school. I was gungho about studying and planned to study for 2 years at a smaller college and transfer to another school after a few years to study Engineering, particularly Mining Engineering. This was my goal at the time, but like many goals that I made, I couldn’t focus on it the right way. I did push forward with heavy loads though and did manage good grades.
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Finding Peace In The Gospel — My Talk

I was asked to give a talk back on July 29th. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to give the talk and talk about things that the spirit directed me to. I have had a winding and twisting road through a forest and I have come to know a lot of truth. I appreciated having the opportunity to talk about one facet of the gospel that struck me positively and helped me through a very difficult time…and helped me find peace in the gospel.

My Talk

I was asked to speak today about finding peace in the gospel. I am still relatively new in the Gospel and my understanding is still not as good as I would like it. I am a teacher by profession, but I don’t think I can teach this well so I am going to talk about what is in my heart. Maybe through my testimony, some scriptures, and words of our prophets, I can convey truth about finding peace in the Gospel.

What is Peace?

In asking myself what is peace in a gospel context, I came across several quotes from our modern day prophets that I would like to share.
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Unique Place = Unique Chinese Experience

I live in the far western part of China. It really doesn’t look like the rest of China or how you might imagine China to look like. Take for example the banner at the top of this site as of 08/16/2012. If you look at this picture, you might think I was in the badlands of South Dakota or some such place. Nope, it’s a beautiful area of western China.

I like to say that I’m in Western China on the edge of the Gobi Desert and Siberia. It’s kind of accurate. It’s very dry here year round and very very cold here in the winter. The climate and geography aren’t the only things different about this part of China.

The people are a good mix of people from near and far. It’s really hard to imagine that you are in China when you see some the local people. The minority people in the city I live European features, in fact some have blonde hair and blue eyes. Not exactly what you think of when you think of China and Chinese people.

The food here is a little different from the rest of China as well. When I came to China, I thought pork as well as “exotic” meat would be pretty much all you could eat if you wanted meat. I don’t eat pork and exotic meat, not because of any religious conviction but rather for health reasons. I’m trying to reduce the amount of meat I eat as well as the quality of food I do eat. While you can buy pork here and there are restaurants that sell it, when going out in groups here, you can rest assured that pork and other exotic meat won’t be served. I thought at first it was mostly out of deference for the minority people but then realized just many Chinese people actually prefer to eat beef and mutton after living so long here in western China.

I really have come to realize that me and my family are having a unique China experience in this place that we’ve come to call home.