Saturday, May 31, 2008

Zion's Camp 2008

Last weekend, after receiving my mission call to Antofagasta, Chile, my dad and I headed up to the Cox's ranch in the Jemez Mountains for an amazing campout -- Zion's Camp! The one thing that I wasn't prepared for was snow during the end of May. That usually doesn't happen here in New Mexico...

Luckily, since we were staying at the Cox's ranch, there were a few dry areas where we could meet. We had some awesome leadership training that weekend.

On Friday, the scouts broke into three groups for leadership training. I taught a class on Synergy/Trust/Problem Solving with Brother Robinson and Spencer Steel. Luckily, since we were teaching, we spent the whole day in a cabin with space heaters. That's the way to camp! In our training, we did things like the "Trust Circle," the "Emotional Bank Account," and the "Human Knot." Here are some pictures:

Have you ever been in a human knot blind folded? It's not as easy as it looks...

Have you ever seen so many guys wearing pink blindfolds, holding hands in a circle, and singing CumbayĆ”? Okay, maybe they weren't singing, but I still thought this was priceless.

Poor pink-blindfold-wearing Michael Castle being superstretched and strangled in his blue Spandex...

That night, we had a crazy get together with all the scouts doing embarrassing skits. I won't post any pictures or movies for fear that they will inevitably become blackmail, but I will say that the fireside afterwards was incredible! The next day, we had a service project, which included lots of manure shoveling, hay stacking, wood piling, etc.

After a morning's hard work, we gathered together for a group photo before we departed. What a great camp! Of course, my mom and dad have both been at girl's camp this entire week. They should get home sometime today. It seems like my dad never gets a chance to rest!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mission Call!

Yes, it finally came! I wanted to call everyone up, but seeing as I'm going on a campout in about fifteen minutes, it doesn't look like that will happen. So, without further adieu, the mission call:

My mom was at work, and seeing as I wouldn't see her until Saturday, I decided to give my mom the news over the phone. Here is the letter that I read to her:

When my mom heard "Houston Texas," she freaked out! Why Houston??? But, sorry to spoil the fun, I was not called to the Houston Texas Mission. Here is the real letter that came in the much-anticipated package from Salt Lake:

I have been called to serve in the Chile Antofagasta Mission, Spanish speaking. I report to the MTC on September 24th. I am so excited, but I now have to leave for my campout!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bubbles and Baby D's Surprise Swim Party!

Yesterday, we celebrated the 16th birthday of two of my friends: Baby D (Dillon Moss) and Bubbles (Landon Yarrington). We surprised them at the Yarrington's house with a pool party, and it was pretty crazy! We've been having nice, warm weather recently, but yesterday was the exception. The water was freezing, and dark clouds were looming. The sun was soon gone, the wind was blowing, but we were still swimming! Here is the card I made for Baby D:

Some of the girls who came to celebrate the coming to age of the birthday boys:

Sweet party!

A few individuals didn't know about the swim party, but that didn't stop them from getting wet!

My friends and I have an affinity towards the diving board. Here are some of our stunts:

Belly Flop!

I next tried my hand at some underwater photography. The water wasn't as transparent as I thought it would be, and my hands were shaking from the cold. Luckily, I did get some good shots:

You'll see that, as the afternoon progressed, my stomach got progressively redder. This is due to the fact that my specialty trick off the diving board is the belly flop. You'll also see a lot of cold faces and a nice overcast sky. Luckily, however, it wasn't as cold as swimming in a high altitude mountain lake!

Fun party! Hopefully these new 16 year olds will take a lot of girls out on dates and become pristine gentlemen.