So nothing really happened this week. In honor of Thanksgiving, I’m just gonna to make an email of the things I’m thankful for…mixed with an Oscar acceptance speech. Ha ha. I love doing this every year with my family, and I figured just because I’m in Paraguay doesn’t mean I can’t do it still I’m gonna start with some missionary related ones and then some spiritual stuff and then whatever else comes to mind. Ha ha. So, here we go.
I’m thankful for the church giving me window and aisle seats on my flight to Argentina. Nothing is worse than being stuck in the middle on a long flight.
I want to thank the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport for having free iPads for making a layover more enjoyable and the ATL airport for giving me a good last meal in Panda Express.
I want to thank the airline for providing free movies, especially for having Pitch Perfect - which introduced me to Anna Kendrick and is a great movie. Ha ha.
I’m thankful for the random old lady who helped me through customs.
I’m thankful for the senior couple missionaries who found me in the Buenos Aires airport and stopped me on my path to buy a ticket back to the States.
I’m thankful for Elder Diotaiuti, my MTC comp. He helped me level out and accept I was in this thing for the long haul. He was there to stop me when I tried to fight…well just about everybody in the MTC. Also we had fun. Good times. Thank you, man!
I also wanna thank President Openshaw for understanding and being compassionate in a time when he didn’t have to be.
I wanna thank the majority of the Latins in my MTC travelling group for helping me, somehow, someway, get on the plane to Paraguay and not be lost - cuz I was completely over my head.
I wanna again thank the church for a plane ticket as I rode first class.
I also wanna thank everybody in first class for not freaking out when me and the other missionaries started a party and sang and danced to flo rida.
Next up is Elder Anderson. I could write a whole blog just about him and how much he’s done for me. He was how a trainer should be. Taught me how to work and be a good missionary, but keeping things light and fun as well. He singlehandedly kept me in the mission countless times. And he gave me proof that if he can make it, I can make it. I wanna thank him for all the good times we had in PJC and for being my best friend and brother out here. Best times of my mission and maybe my life were with that kid. Thanks, man. I owe you one.
PJC. What to say about PJC... thanks PJC for everything. I lived there longer than I have lived in the house I’m going home to. It has been a huge part of my life physically and spiritually. I wanna thank PJC for not killing me, for mohawks and for chains and for belt buckles. For a sick 4th of July, Brazilian BBQ and gelato. For boxing and for a house that only kind of sucked. Ok it sucked, but I’m trying to be positive. Ha ha.
I wanna thank a lot of people in that city but especially Hermana Selva for saving my life and always being there for me. The Familia Arguello for all the good times we’ve had and showing me some results of my work. The Familia Bogado for a lot of food and chipa and good times as well. And Mercedes Duarte for fun nights of eating, having fun, and learning about the gospel, and for not laughing uncontrollably so many times.
I wanna thank the mission in general for the things I’ve learned and the ways I’ve changed. For making me a better person. For teaching me patience and what I want out of life, and what truly is important in life.
The importance of the church and of family things I didn’t appreciate before.
For learning if you’re not going forward, you’re going backward. And to not do that.
For teaching me about my past and how seriously mixed up I was for awhile.
For teaching me a joy of learning about the gospel and the scriptures.
For giving me a testimony of more than I almost died but didn’t.
For helping me realize I still need to change and get better.
For teaching me I don’t really wanna be a doctor, and for helping me find a new career.
I’m thankful for letters. Every trip to the office is exciting because of them.
For packages - even more exciting for those.
For the people back home who send those to me and truly care, and for the people who have made it this far in my blog and for even reading my blog in the first place. Ha ha.
I’m thankful for military issue boots that keep my feet dry.
For in more or less 1 year I will be home and seeing you guys face to face.
For how time has flown on the mission.
I wanna thank Jesus. He saved my life. He died for me that I may live. Nothing we can say or do is enough thanks for what he truly did.
I wanna thank my heavenly father for the plan that I can actually live with him again one day with my family forever.
For inventing a way that I can still do that despite my faults and my errors.
For the atonement that washes those away and for being infinite -- I need it.
I’m thankful for 2nd chances and 3rd and 4th and, well, I’m probably in the hundreds by now and will need thousands more.
I’m thankful for my life. I don’t believe in mistakes. If my life didn’t go the way it did, I wouldn’t be here right now.
I’m thankful for my family for never giving up on me. Even when I was a jerk.
For my dad - hockey, hunting, fishing and waiting in line for a Pokemon movie. For my mom - countless hours helping me on papers and making me take pride in my work and strive to be a better person and for making me send in my mission papers again, cuz I wasn’t going to. For my sister who has taken way more abuse from me than she should have but keeps loving me anyway. Love ya, sis! She’s amazing -- any person who tries for years to give me a style sense deserves the best in the world – that’s you. Find it. I’m thankful for their support. Without it I coulda turned all Darth Vader and stuff.
And on that note I’m thankful for Star Wars, Ninja Turtles, Pokemon, and the Mighty Ducks for helping make my childhood freaking awesome! Never forget those days.
For best friends and for friends you will never forget.
For teaching me how fast a baseball pitch actually is and waterballooning couples on Valentine’s Day. For LOTS of hours of FIFA and Entourage Freshman year and being awesome.
For starting a friendship with a late night punch to the face.
For an unforgettable Cali trip and watching you freak out about your car. The cammit. Ha ha.
For black Friday shopping in high school.
For pool parties and park football.
For letting me live in your house a couple summers and getting ID’d 3 times for the same movie I went to and never got carded. Ha ha. Baby face.
For being a part of the biggest choke ever in baseball video game history and ruining my no hitter and beating me and your obsession with Utah State.
For Blastoise and not buying a monkey for our apartment.
For including me and making me a part of the baseball team even though I’m terrible.
For making me workout and push myself.
For the HOWL and trying to find "Leonardo". Ha ha
For Nelly for teaching me I need 2 pairs and to never step on a Mans Js. For Taylor Swift for teaching me what the mind of a 15-year-old girl is like over and over and over again. For R Kelly for having a sick voice and creating the best mood music ever. For Rihanna for well being Rihanna. For Kid Cudi for showing me the pursuit of happiness. For Sammy Adams for teaching me what college is all about. For 50 Cent teaching me that nothing should keep you down or from your dreams. Dude’s bulletproof!
For America and everything I took for granted before, like cars and dogs.
I’m thankful for food. For the 5 dollar footlong, hot and readys, chronic burgers, beefy 5 layers, frosties, pandas orange chicken, memphis bbq burger, dinner boxes, IHOP, free grand slams, chipotle burgers, frostys, pbj and mac and cheese and all other foods of my childhood, for Cinnabon and the girls you take there.
I’m thankful for girls. For the girl who gave me the best date of my life and made me buy Cinnabon to make it count. For the girl who ate lunch with me all the time in college. Miss those.
For tennis in Fairfield.
For going to the wrong theater in a blizzard.
For ice cream runs all day everyday.
For being a part of the PBJ challenge and taking care of me when I almost died and made me go ice skating anyway.
For making out in a freezer at the fair.
For making work a fun place and for making the best gelato.
For being my Skype buddy and inviting me to Florida.
For comps’ gorgeous sisters who keep me company when all I have is a Latin to talk to all day everyday.
For the older lady who stopped me from walking off a soccer field when I told her she couldn’t coach.
For putting confetti in my car that is probably still in there somewhere.
To my future GF for putting up with me. Ya, I’m thankful for that in advance - I know I’m hard to love. Ha ha
For soccer for teaching me about teamwork, never giving up, and how to win and lose . Ok I still hate losing.
For hockey for being the best sport ever to watch live!
For my athlete idols who helped shape me. For T.O. and Chad Johnson for teaching me how to celebrate. For Jamarcus Russell for providing the greatest Madden play ever and teaching me how to not waste potential. For Steve Yzerman for being classy til the end, and how to be loyal and a leader. For Sean Avery for teaching me how to run my mouth and Darren McCarty for how to back up my mouth and how you can’t run from a cheap shot. For Allen Iverson for teaching me about practice and how no all star players come off the bench. For Kobe for showing heart and how to play through injuries; for 81, and teaching me how to not give a crap what people say or think about you. For Nate Robinson for flying and proving even little guys can ball. For Reggie Bush and the most electrifying college football season I’ve seen. For Pat Tillman for teaching me that some things are bigger than sports. For Manny Ramirez for being Manny and teaching me to swing at everything. For rally monkeys and the beauty of sports. For Beckham teaching me how to market and become an icon. For coach Josh for teaching me it’s ok to get a yellow -- keep playing your game. For Pete Carroll for teaching me how to win forever. For Ernie Randolfi for taking a bunch of boys and making them a team and teaching us more life lessons than sports and for being one of the best men I have ever known. The world misses you, Ernie.
And for Ari Gold and Jerry Maguire for teaching me about my new career. And how to be successful.
I’m thankful for fantasy football and the ability to win even from 10,000 miles away.
For California and my memories there.
For Disney for being awesome.
For the military who do their jobs without thanks and without them I couldn’t have this list.
For chick flicks. It’s more gay to not watch them. Trust me on this one. For movies and everything they have taught me.
For Entourage and how life should be with your friends.
For you guys for making it through this email and all the support you’ve given me throughout this process. I owe you guys the world. Believe it or not, you saved my life.
I’m thankful for the blessings in my life -- a list too long to write down here. But for being me -- smart, funny, attractive, the whole package -- I’m even humble. Ha ha. Again for my family and their role in making me this awesome person here before you.
But most of all I’m thankful for being alive. I’ve had one heck of a life up to this point and hope it continues for many more years, but life is short and one thing I’ve learned is it’s not fair, and we never know when we will be called away.
Love and live your lives. Be thankful for all that you have. I love and miss you guys. Take care.