Friday, July 4, 2014

The Best Summer of Your Life

This morning as I pondered on the 4th of July and what it means to me, my mind wandered back to the summer between my plebe and yuk years at West Point.  It is advertised as the "Best Summer of Your Life".  At first I thought- as do most- that this is because of all the cool things you get to do.  Zip-lines, tanks, explosions, shooting.  Its like scout camp on steroids!  

But this morning I realized that while all these things are great they are not what makes that summer so great.  What makes it so great is that you really appreciate the small things in life.  You are no longer a plebe which means that you are now treated like a human being.  You are free to talk.  You are free to walk wherever you want to go.  You can even eat without having to first prove that you know "Schofield's definition of discipline" or the exact number of days until every major event for the rest of the year.  I remember a time when being able to shower alone was the greatest thing ever.  Now I complain if the drain is a little slow.  That is the real reason why that summer is so amazing- freedom and the ability to appreciate the small things.  (All the fun stuff certainly helps too though.)

As I think back on that time of my life I would love to go back to that summer.  I would never want to go through plebe year again, but to have that wonderful, simple view of life would be worth it.  That may well have been the best summer of my life.

In 2 Ne 2:27 we learn that these things apply in the spiritual sense too.  As miserable as it was to be "locked-up" as a plebe, we often CHOOSE to be "locked-up" spiritually.  We are free to choose liberty and freedom through Christ, our Redeemer.  All too often, however, we choose to follow a different path.  I have seen how this can steal away our freedom little by little.  I have seen it in my own life and the lives of many others.  We can get this wonderful freedom back through repentance (as Alma explained), but the truth of the matter is that we don't even realize how great our freedom is.  

To any who are feeling "locked-up" right now- life just has you stuck, you are trapped, etc.- seek out the freedom that Christ has to offer. 

Happy birthday USA!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

So much to write...

It's been a very long time since my last post.  I have been home for a few months now and often consider updating my blog.  There's just so much I could say though!  Plus I have been getting used to English again. All in all it seems a daunting task.  So, I guess I'll just start with life since I came home from Chile.

To be honest I was ready to come home in some ways. I was tired. I had given my all for two years and it was definately time for a rest. That being said, it is always hard to say goodbye.  Leaving the United States was easy knowing that it was short term- two years and back.  Leaving Chile was different.  It is entirely possible that I will never again see the country that came to be my second home.  While I would much rather live here I would be remiss if I did not say that I love and miss Chile and her people. Someday I plan to go back and visit.  Hopefully.  Ending a mission and coming home is a feeling that is very hard to describe so I am going to stop trying. haha

Since coming home much of my life has changed.  My plans and hopes and dreams all involved returning to West Point.  Due to a medical issue (explained here) that was not possible.  I went through all the processes but the doctors simply said no.  This means searching for a new plan for life, a way of paying for school etc.  The plan so far is to go to BYU and study political science. 

How to pay for it has been somewhat of an interesting journey.  I returned to my old job at Stephenson Honey Company on a temporary basis.  It was the perfect job at the time.  Living at home meant no expenses.  With Stephensons I was able to get time off to visit family.  It was exactly what I needed.  But it was temporary.  I am now living in New Jersey and installing solar panels to come up with money.  It will be a summer job once I get into school, which I will be starting in January if all goes to plan. 

Living in Jersey has some perks.  I am about an hour from West Point so I've been up there a few times.  Its about the same time to Manhattan.

In short, a lot has happened and a lot has changed.  There is far more than I wll ever be able to put up here but I will try from time to time.  It would sure be a lot easier if I weren't doing this on a phone though, so for the next while don't expect much!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Yesterday and last night I experienced something to which I hope none of you can relate.  I am writhing to you on the subject of receiving and acting on revelation and promptings of the Spirit.

Last night we had an elder in our zone go home.  This elder had struggled while he was here in the MTC but we all thought he would make it.

Earlier in the day we had gym time-a chance for us to get some physical activity.  When this elder walked into the gym, our eyes met and we said hi.  In that moment I thought "I need to talk to him and see how he is doing."  The next thought was "Nah, there will be time later.  I need to go run."

Fast forward to the night.  I finished up my nightly prayer and ran to the bathroom before going to bed.  As I passed this elders room I saw the door open and a BYU cop in there talking to him.  Again I felt the need to stop and talk to him, this time accompanied by the familiar warm sensation of the Spirit.  And again it was followed by a discouragement-"the campus cop would just tell me to go away anyway, whats the point?"

I returned to my room and sat on my bed.  The urge to go and offer my assistance returned and I decided to go and do, like Nephi said.  Leaving the room, I hesitated and ducked back into the bathroom-same doubts.  As I walked back to my room I almost turned in to speak with the elder but let my doubts win.

This time I knelt and prayed.  As I poured my heart out to God I couldn't help but hear the voices outside my door.  The word came over the radios and the campus cops escorted him out.  I felt like President Monson running through the halls of the hospital only to find out he was too late.  As one of the zone leaders was leaving I grabbed him and asked him to express our love to the elder.  Too little, too late.

I do not know if this elder would have stayed because of my words, but I do know that I failed to do my duty as a disciple of Christ.  The words of Elder Bednar rang in my head for hours.  During an address given at the MTC he answered the question "How do I know if it is the Spirit or just my thoughts?"  He quite passionately stated:

"Quit worrying about it!  Quit stewin,' Quit fussin', Quit worryin' about it!"

Any thought or impression that leads you to do good is of God.  When I had that thought in the gym, it was of God.

I encourage you, I urge you, I plead with you-when such thoughts come, act.  Act right then.  There is not time later, the time is now.  Don't hesitate.  Don't waste time worrying about if it is the Spirit or not.  You cannot afford to lose that time.  I know that this is the work of God.  I know that if we act we can be the answer to the prayers of others.  I also know the guilt that comes from failing to act.  It is my sincere desire that others not have to feel it too.  I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ , Amen

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


For those who don't know I will be leaving to serve a mission tomorrow morning.  This means I did not get around to updating about everything.  This also means I will not be around to blog for the next 2 years.  During that time this blog may be used on occasion to have my mother post things I send her to keep people updated on my goings on.  Just so you all know!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mission Mail

If you would like to get in touch with me during my mission the best way to do that is to write a letter.  I would love to hear from anybody and everybody and hear how things are going for you.  In my mission; however, we use pouch mail.  It is a way to send mail to Chile (or other countries) for cheaper but has some different requirements.  The following is copied from the information I received because it can explain it better than I can:

"Pouch mail instructions: The Church provides pouch mail service to your mission.  Items sent by pouch mail use the United States Postal Service from your location to Church headquarters, where they are forwarded to the missionary by a private courier along with other Church mail...

...Only postcards or one-page correspondences (no envelopes) written on one side of the page may be sent through the pouch.  Notebook of other light-weight paper will not process through the USPS machines.  Photographs are not acceptable...

...Items restricted from the pouch [such as photographs, packages, letters more than a page long, etc.]
may be sent through the USPS or a private courier."

If you choose to use the pouch service (which is cheaper) fold the paper into thirds and tape the long edge of the paper closed.  Put a stamp on it and address it to:
Elder Richard Bishop
Chile Santiago East Mission
POB 30150
Salt Lake City UT 84130-0150

If you choose a more conventional method (or have to use it since what you're sending won't go through pouch) then address it to:
Elder Richard Bishop
Chile Santiago East Mission
Pedro de Valdivia 1423,
29 Santiago
Region Metropolitana CHILE
Phone: 56 2-340-5035

You will need the phone number for a private courier.

Wow, such a long explanation!  I look forward to hearing from you all!!  And if you're not inclined to write me don't worry, I fail at writing to missionaries too. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


For years I have wanted to experiment with investing in the stock market.  At the moment I find myself with a little free time and some mad money (money I can lose and not be hurt). 

I initially invested $500, but the problem is that with a small amount of money it is hard to recover from the brokerage fees ($7 for each trade).  Though all but one of the 5 stocks I chose have been up around 10% from where I initially bought them, I still cannot sell out of them without going in the whole because I don't have enough shares to cover the fees!!  Good thing this is only to learn, right?

Right.  But it still irks me to know that even though my investments have done fairly well, I will still be ending this endeavor with less money than I began (probably only by a couple of dollars, but its the principle of the thing!!).  So, even though I have told myself and my parents that I will not become a day trader, I have picked out a stock that I feel I can make significant money on if I watch it and day-trade on it.  I know, usually you pick a lot of them and different ones each day and all that good stuff, but I am confident on this and if it works out well perhaps I will talk more about it. 

Basically it is a crappy company with consistent (almost every day for the past year) daily highs and lows.  My plan, obviously, is to buy in on the daily low and sell on the daily high.  The dangerous part is that a quick glance at the company's financials plus the fact that the stock has been stagnant for over a year means that this company could disappear any day.  Bankrupt.

Risky? Yes. Good thing I can lose this money and not be too hurt!  That being said, I am still fairly confident in this plan and I can watch the stock during the day and see exactly when other day traders do the same thing, so I'm not alone in utilizing this cash-cow.  In a few days I should have more than paid for the "learning experience".  I'll keep ya'll posted!!


...ok so I may have let my blog fall behind as of late.  No, I did let my blog fall behind.  Its been busy!! (but mostly I've just been lazy)

Last time I posted I was headed for West Virginia.  That was a fun trip!  I spent about 2 weeks visiting my brother and his family.  My sister-in-law had to go up to girls' camp the second week to help run things so I watched the kids for her.  It only amounted to one day really but that was enough.  SOOO glad I don't have to be a mother.  Seriously, I don't know how you women do it!  Between crying children trying to climb in the shower with me and poopy diapers, I was ready for their dad to come home and save me.

At the end of my visit my sister-in-law and the kids flew back to Utah with me so that she could go to her family reunion and my other brother's wedding!!  Congrats bro!  The night before we flew out my brother gathered his family around him and gave each child and his wife a father's blessing.  It was a wonderful example to me of a man utilizing his priesthood- much like my father always has been.  He and his wife offered me the opportunity to bless their youngest child.  It was such a sweet and tender moment for me- one that I will never forget.  The priesthood power is truly amazing.

The wedding/reception was the Saturday after I got back so there was a lot of work getting the yard ready for the reception and the like.  The day went well and, in spite of the stress and tension, was a good day with family.

The next family event will be taking me to the Missionary Training Center in Provo.  Yes, I have a mission call.  I have had it for a long time now, just haven't written about it.  I will be serving for the next two years in the Chile, Santiago East Mission.  I enter the MTC on August 31.  My mission- geographically speaking- is the smallest proselyting mission in the world.  It is about 20 miles long and 7 miles wide; however, in that small area are about 3.5 million people!!  10 stakes, 55 wards and 2 branches of the church fit within the boundaries of my mission along with a Temple, the headquarters of the church in Chile, an MTC and possibly- my fingers are crossed- the Chilean Military Academy.  It will be a fun and exciting 2 years!!  I'll post contact info for me while I am gone in a later post, along with what my life has been and will be made up of until I go.