Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Cheer

I can't believe I didn't write about my love for all that is Christmas...it's kind of obsessive, but in a good way. I started my celebrations this year by listening to Christmas music in July...and it all started there.

Anyways, this was the first Christmas in 5 years that all of the Suppi children have been home for Chritmas (yes, Chritmas). Needless to say, it was a very joyous occasion. Also, for my Christmas and birthday gift for the next 5 years, for my future graduation, and for my future weeding gift I got a Canon Rebel camera. I've been experimenting with this little piece of magic for the past couple of days. 











I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas with family and thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm grateful for everything that He has given us and I hope that we can continue to center our lives around Him for the rest of the year. Also, be sure and take time to be with those you love, you never know how long it will be until you see them again!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"Why do I have so much and they have nothing?"

A couple weeks ago I talked with a family from my mission on the phone. Teaching them and getting to know them was one of the biggest life changing experiences of my time in Romania, if not my entire life. Here is a "preface" of sorts so that you can understand their situation. Here's what I wrote in my journal the day after one of our lessons with them:

"It's not fair that today I was worrying about what kind of bag I should buy, and I buy a 120 lei bag-that's not necessary. It's not fair that we live in a nice apartment and have all the food we need, and then this family of four with two small children don't have food to put on the table. It's not fair and I feel guilty. Let me suffer and give them what I have. Why do I have so much and they have nothing? How is it fair?"

Here we are with their kids in their one room apartment


When I talked with them on the phone a couple weeks ago, just hearing their voices made me so happy. But then we started to talk about life, and how it is still so difficult, I got that lump in my stomach again. Almost two years after I wrote that journal entry they are still suffering, they are still struggling to put food on the table. It's not because they are lazy, it's not because they are addicted to drugs, it's because they are stuck in poverty and they don't know how to get out. They are amazing people, dedicated to serving Christ, but they struggle to provide the basic necessities to live. 

This morning me and my roommates were watching College Gameday on ESPN and there was a 5 year old who was a guest on the show because he knew so much about college football. He was praised by the announcers and everyone else because of his "great knowledge" of college sports. I couldn't help but think how almost sickening it is that so much money, time, resources, praise, and talents are being funneled into college football and this little kid when halfway across the world this amazing family of four is starving. It's not just this one family either, it's millions of people all around the world, even in our own communities, that are suffering. Again, many of these people are not suffering because they make stupid decisions, but because they are born into it and can't find a way out. 

I hope it doesn't come across that I am condemning college sports, because I'm not. All I'm saying is that we cannot just sit by and pretend like nothing is happening. It is not ok to keep ourselves from thinking about these kind of things because we don't see it. The fact is that there are people all around us suffering and we need to ask ourselves-what am I going to do about it?

I wish I had a perfect answer for this question, I wish I had a way to make it all fair, I wish I knew a clear path to make it all right...but I don't. However, I do know that I can try. I do know that I can go out and try to make a difference. It's not enough to just think about it, I have to go out and actively search to make this world better for those around me. Here's what I wrote in my journal right after I wrote that first part:

"It means I have a great responsibility to share that which I have with others. God blessed me with so much so that I can share it with others. I have a great responsiblity-becasue I have been given much I too must give...It's more than just praying for them-it's more than just trying-it is giving everything you have, everything you have been given to help them. That is what the Lord expects from us. That is what makes it fair. That and the atonement of Jesus Christ." 


I'm not trying to be on a soapbox preaching about how the world is in flames, because it's not. There is so much good in the world and so many amazing people that are making a difference. I just think it's important to remember that there are people all around us who need our help, our talents, and our listening ear, and we need to make it a priority to be there for them. 



http://www.benetech.org/
A Nonprofit dedicated to helping Romanian Orphans
http://www.bridgeofloveromania.com/


A program that helps people to lift themselves out of poverty
http://www.creatingenterprise.com/home0.aspx



Sunday, October 21, 2012

#fallrecap

I'm trying out something new lately, the "hashtag (#)." For those of you who haven't been on Facebook/Twitter in about a year, the # is a symbol used in social media (and even in common day conversation) to highlight something or other. I don't really know the logistics behind it, I just know that this girl has got me hashtaging, and it's almost as addicting as these. Here's an email that I sent out for work this last week, see if you can spot the hashtag.

Now that I've digressed, let me get back to the real subject of this post, the joys of this season. Fall has proven to be very enjoyable as of late, General Conference was a true treat, making new friends and building existing relationships has been great, school has been challenging and empowering, and the weather has been awesome. This is what it's looked like in Utah for the past couple of weeks.

Props to Megan Guinter for the photo
On Friday I was walking out of a review for my Intermediate Price Theory test when I realized I probably should have been stressed because I was still pretty confused. So, I decided to take a scenic route home that went through the woods, creating a scene much like the one above. I was thinking about how much I wished I could do some sort of art, so that I could create something as beautiful as what was around me. I quickly thought about rashly going to change my major to Art when I realized that I don't need to learn some sort of visual art to create something beautiful. 

Everyday I create a work of art based off of the decisions I make. 

Everyday day I wake up and make thousands of decisions that shape who I become and how I make a difference in this world. I am my own piece of art. However, because I'm not perfect and because I am not a master craftsman just yet, there are parts of me with cracks, with holes, or parts that just aren't finished. Luckily I'm not the only artist here, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are here to make up the difference. They help me where I cannot do it by myself, they shape me into who they know I can become. Realizing that made me look at my life through a different lens: it's not about the motions you go through, but about what can be created from true motivations. Life is about what you can become and who you can help on the way, just as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are helping us.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Thoughts-The Small Things

This week was hard. It was the first week of classes, as well as the first real week of my new job, and I was still getting settled into a new apartment. I am starting what is equivalent to my "junior core" of classes for Econ, and my classes scare the living daylights out of me. This is no longer just interesting thoughts and ideas, it's hard core calculus and statistics applied to find specific answers. My job is amazing, but this first week has been very demanding taking up more than 20 hours of work in 5 days (that's on top of being a full time student). I feel like I know the classes of my students I work with better than my own. There was more than one day when I forgot to eat until the evening, and on multiple occasions I looked at my schedule and just laughed because I didn't know how I would make it work. I'm sure we have all felt like this at least once in our lives.

Needless to say, I was pumped for the weekend, especially because one of my good friends was getting married and sealed for all eternity on Saturday. So, I got up early Saturday morning to get ready for the wedding. To add to the stress of the week, while getting into the shower I bumped the light in the bathroom, resulting in a loud CRASH and glass scattered everywhere (I still need to update my landlord about that). I hurried, cleaned it up and ran out the door to my car. It was about a 30 minute drive, which gave me plenty of time to think about all the things I needed to do this weekend to get ready for school next week. I turned a corner and saw a view similar to this:

http://dmblood.typepad.com/the_curmudgeonly_professo/
As I was taking in the view, I felt all of my stress being replaced with my Heavenly Father's love for me. Seeing the spectacular mountains helped me remember God created this world for us, and if He is capable of creating something as beautiful as this planet, imagine what He put into creating us, His children. I know life is hard, and stressful, and sometimes it seems like there is no way we can handle everything, but I know God has given us the power to go to Him and ask for His help. You're right if you are thinking we can't handle life, because we can't on our own. We need Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father to give us that extra power to accomplish what we can't on our own.

Take in the beauty that surrounds you; the small things that are easy to overlook, like the view just outside your window. Know God loves you and He is watching over you. He gave us this world so we can have joy, so go out there and find it! 

"Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy." 



P.S. Here's a picture from the wedding:


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Things I Never Thought Would Happen My Last Week of Work

So when I first started this blog I promised myself I wouldn't post 5 posts and then be done...this is me keeping that promise to myself. I know you've all been dying to read my next post, so here it is.

What I Never Thought Would Happen My Last Week at Work

1. Be asked to demolish three commercial sized cupboards with a sledge hammer and crow bar. Yes, it is as fun as it looks on TV.

2. Crawl through the ceiling of the mall that was clearly not made for human access. Yup, the only thing I had to support myself were those beams and small pipes.
I felt like Spiderman

3. Be hit on by a middle aged woman. Background to the following conversation: She works at a store that we were working in. There was dust everywhere, ladders up to wazoo, and me standing in the middle of her fancy store. The middle aged woman will now be referred to as MAW. 

MAW: Speaking to herself, "It's 8 o'clock, I'm not even supposed to be at work, there's a mess in my store, [glances over at me] and there's a man who looks like Tom Cruise standing right in front of me."
Me: "...."
MAW: "Boy, how old are you?"
Me: "22"
MAW: "Mhmm, that's what I need. A man who can take care of himself, is young, and a little bit of white chocolate."
Me: "..."
MAW: "How about you meet me in the food court at noon and we can have a date."
Me: "Uhh...well, tomorrow is my last day."
MAW: "Well dang, we need to get this thing rolling today!"
Me: "...."
MAW: [Stares at me while vacuuming]
Me: "I think my boss is calling me."
MAW: "Alright honey, see you at noon!"

To clear a couple of things up: 1) I do not look like Tom Cruise  2) I did not know how to act in this kind of situation...it's not really one I encounter very often. 

4. Listen to The Help on audio book. This book is amazing, definitely one of my new favorites. I kind of feel like I cheated because I listened to it, but listening to the accents of the readers was most definitely worth it. This book describes the life of black women who were "the help" for white women during the civil rights movement. I loved it because it not only opened my eyes to our country's past, but it gave me the umph to make a change, to not idly sit still while society slowly diminishes. We are lucky enough to live in a world that embraces people who want to make a difference, so what's holding us back?

You can expect a Road Trip Partea Două to be coming up very soon. This will include a new roommate, Ebony, and what two 22 year old guys do in a car for 36 hours to pass time. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stuff Will Break

This Summer I've been working on the maintenance team at a local mall, and I've specifically been working with the Air Conditioning mechanic. Seeing that four weeks ago the only thing I knew about air conditioning is that they don't have it in Romania, I've learned a lot.

Baba-proof that air conditioning is not needed for survival, although it is very pleasent
One of the main things I've learned hasn't been how to fix an air conditioner, but instead a helpful life lesson. I've noticed that a majority of the people who call us when their air conditioner isn't working have an attitude something like this: "We paid for an air conditioner, so I don't understand why we don't have an ideal temperature in our store. It shouldn't be broken. I just want it to work right now." I can't really blame them either, because that's how I've always thought. I buy a car, and it should run. I shouldn't be bothered with all of the trips to the mechanic and constant upkeep.

After visiting a particularly hasty tenant about her broken air conditioner, the mechanic turned to me and said, "I just wish people would understand that nothing is perfect and things are going to break." Then I realized that this has many more implications than to wonderful devices that blow heavenly air in our direction, it also applies to ourselves, our work ethic, and relationships with others. I cannot expect a relationship with a loved one to be perfect and work just because we both agreed to give it a shot. Things will break, arguments will be had, but that doesn't mean that we can't fix them. Just because I am trying my best doesn't mean that I'm not going to make mistakes, I will break and mess up, but that doesn't mean that I can't work to fix it.

I'm sure we've all seen the meme thing going around Facebook that has a picture of an older couple and says something to the extent of, "In my day we were taught that if something is broken, we fix it." I know that there are situations where things are beyond repair, but I do think that we are worth fighting for (insert Mulan song here). We can't go through life thinking that we are entitled to things that don't break, because life is going to come back and bite you in the butt as soon as you realize that will never happen. Stuff will break, and as long as we remember that and strive to fix it, we can find happiness in any situation.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"The Roadtrip of Justice"

June 15, 2012 was the start of one of the most epic treks across the country that four college students have ever embarked on. These four young adventurers were changed for life, and without a doubt got to know each other a lot better. Me, Brita, Steve, and Andy have now seen the country.
In front of the Mississippi river
I was driving home from college for the Summer so I asked some friends if they wanted to come with me and these wonderful three came along for the adventure (in addition to reasons of their own). We started from Provo, Utah with Apex, NC as our destination.

Day 1: We made it to Grand Island, Nebraska. Here are some pictures of the adventure, including the states we went through.
1 down, 6 to go!

Look at the difference between the two signs. 
Now, to say the least, I was not excited about going through Nebraska. As a kid we had driven through it and all I remembered was a straight road with corn on each side for hours...and a random college in the middle of nowhere. All of us were...well...dreading the drive through that neck of the fields. However, we were all pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too bad, it was actually a lot prettier than the part of Wyoming we drove through. Way to beat the odds Nebraska!


Day 2: Destination Nauvoo, Illinois where Brita had to depart...which is still a sore subject for us. Here are some pictures for that day and some photos of Nauvoo. BTW Nauvoo is a historic site for our church where the Saints settled around the 1840's and made a thriving city out of a swamp. 
We also went through Iowa, but a torrential rainstorm stopped
us from documenting the occasion

There were so many windmills


My great great great etc...uncle's gun shop
Browning guns

The Nauvoo Temple
Day 3: After trying to recover the loss of Brita in Nauvoo me, Andy, and Steve headed to my sister's farm outside of Nashville TN. 
The trusty three

St. Louis!
Yes, we were gettin' to the South!


Day 4: We decided to take a day break from the open road and spend some time with my sister and brother-in-law on their farm in rural Tennessee. It was now our one and only goal to immerse Steve and Andy into southern culture, starting off by visiting a Civil War site in Franklin, TN. We then went and walked around downtown Nashville and ate at one of the best bbq places in the nation, followed by a relaxing evening (including shooting guns) on my sister's farm. 
Shots from the Battle of Franklin
Yes, the street is called Honky Tonk row 
The country music capital of the world-Nashville, TN
The farm
Day 5: North Carolina!! 
We made it!
We made a pit stop at my old stompin' grounds aka Asheville, NC. We walked around downtown, caught up with an old friend for lunch, and took in all the eclecticness that is Asheville. The next couple of days were filled with NC culture: we visited UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University, basked in the glory of North Carolina basketball glory, toured the historical downtown Apex, ate Chick-Fil-A, and we even went to the Apex Pig Pickin'! 

UNC Chapel Hill 
You can't see it very well, but this may or may not have been
a fulfillment of Steve's wildest dreams-being in Cameron Indoor
Stadium. 
Downtown Apex, dressed in our UNC attire

After reviewing our "Roadtrip of Justice" (compliments to Brita for the epic name), I propose that it was a success. We crossed the country, sang a lot of songs, sang all of those songs a lot of times, bonded with each other, saw the history of our country, witnessed the landscape change from the desert beauty of the west to the immaculate forest of the east, and how could I forget, we visited Little America! I highly recommend roadtripping across the US of A, you will not be disappointed!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

I love America!..So now what?

Happy (belated) day of birth America! 

The past couple of nights me and my parents have been watching some documentaries on America and the sacrifices that have been made for us to be who we are today. Sacrifices made not only by our soldiers, but also by citizens, families, and leaders. This got me thinking about how often I throw around the phrase, "I love America!" and not really think about what it means to be an American. For those of you who don't know, I was lucky enough to serve the Lord for two years in Romania by serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Living among those amazing people changed me completely, it opened my eyes, helping me to realize that not everyone lives how I do. In Romania I saw a number of people and families that barely had any temporal possessions, they worried every morning what they would put on the table for their kids to eat, without having much hope of change. That humbles you. 

I think loving America entails a lot more than just stating how amazing it is on your Facebook status and putting off fireworks. To truly love America means to recognize your blessings and use them to help those who don't have them, whether they be American, Romanian, or of any other ethnicity. To be American means to fight for what is right and sacrifice for it. 

Because I Have Been Given Much

Because I have been given much, I too must give.

Because of they great bounty, Lord each day I live. 

I shall divide my gifts from thee with every brother that I see,

who has the need of help from me.

-Hymn Because I Have Been Given Much by Grace Noll Crowell

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

And Who Said I'm Not Spontaneous?

Late Wednesday night I got a text from my friend, Sarah. She had just gotten back from being out of the country, so I was pretty excited to hear of her adventures...little did I know that I would soon be in on one of them! After telling me a little about her trip she sent me a text that went something like this:



Who in their right mind would not want to go to Disneyland for free? She proceeded to tell me that if me and a friend could get to her house in Redlands, California by Friday morning we would have tickets for the happiest place on earth. All night I was debating whether or not I should go...I had class...I had work...but I could get it covered and make up the homework...but this is just one of those things that you're not supposed to do, right? Wrong.

I got up the next morning, still needing to find someone to come with me. I rolled over about the same time my roommate Steve did, and I asked him (expecting a blatant "no") if he wanted to go to Disneyland with me for free....that afternoon at 3. He looked at me kind of puzzled, thought for a second, and then said "yes." So, we left that afternoon at 3 and drove our little hearts out to the land of Walt. 

The gang
Classic




My personal favorite


Yup, little did we know 12 hours earlier that we would be heading to Cali to enjoy the most spontaneous trip we had ever embarked on. Here are some pictures to prove it.




Disneyland: magical, adventurous, entertaining, built by geniuses, filled with diversity, a place where you will get at least 15 shout-outs for wearing a BYU shirt, fun, enlightening, inspiring, home to the promiscuously dancing and singing Mad Hatter, happy, adrenaline, and of course it is where your dreams come true.   










We also got to experience picking and eating the best oranges known to mankind. You know a city is legit when it has a grove just for the public to get some oranges...for free. Yes, our diet the following 3 days consisted of mainly fresh hand picked oranges. Who could ask for a better weekend?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Economics?

I would be willing to bet that about 98% of you feel like this


when you hear the word 'Economics'. Rest assured, I felt like that until one day while I was chugging through my Econ 380 homework and I had a geeky epiphany-econ explains why we do what we do. BABY MAMA. OK, that was only to get your attention and to make sure that you don't click out of here thinking that this is a blog about economics. This is a blog about my life as a college student, my life as a traveler, my post-mission life, my life as a hopeful adventurer. I hope it'll bring some sort of entertainment to your lives and help you to understand why I am the way I am, and what I hope to become.

I just wanted to explain the title "Supply and Demand" before you all write me (and this blog) off as a sorry attempt at being "witty."
Side Note: I've been putting off starting a blog for almost a year because I couldn't think of a title. Just ask Sarah, she's been trying to get me to do one since I got back from Romania. 
Here is a very simple explanation of the concept of supply and demand. Let's think about an item that we all want, Chacos. Ok, if you don't want them...think again. They may or may not be the most useful footwear to grace us since these. So, you're getting ready for a Summer filled with nice hikes and good weather and you want something that can handle all occasions, and still look dang good. Let's think about what will make you buy these babies. Let's take a look at this graph below:


Confused? Don't worry, in about 1.35 minutes it'll make sense. This graph has two sides, one that represents the price of Chacos, and one that represents how many Chacos there are to buy. There are also two lines, D (demand) and S (supply). The demand line shows how many people will buy chacos at any given price. The supply line shows how many pairs of Chacos a store will sell at any given price.

When would a lot of people demand Chacos? When the price is really low, hence why the D line is at the bottom right corner. When would nobody want to buy Chacos? When they cost a whole lot of money.

The opposite goes for stores. They want to have a lot of Chacos when the price is high, so that they can make more money. They don't want to have a lot in stock if they are cheap because they won't make a lot of money selling them. When the two lines cross, that is the price where you will buy a pair of chacos and the store will be willing to sell them to you. Easy enough right?

Basically, supply and demand helps explain why people make certain decisions. If Chacos cost $400 there is no way I would buy them, but if they cost $100 I would be much more willing to do so. And it turns out that at $100 stores are willing to sell them to me also.

So what in the world does this have to do with life? 
We are all willing to do certain things in order to get something out of it. I am in college because I want to learn how I can help the world to be a better place. I am willing to give up a certain amount of time and money in order to receive this education, and it just so happens that Brigham Young University is willing to provide me with these resources for that amount of time and money. Life is about finding that equilibrium, that big black dot in the middle of the graph, and the adventure is all about getting there. That's why I love life, because we have to explore, we have to try new things, we have to open our eyes and search for things that will bring us this happiness. For some it's painting, for others it's playing football, for me....well I'm still finding that out. On this blog I'll be trying to document the things that I explore and do that are bringing me closer to this equilibrium point. Welcome to economics of my life, hopefully you are in for the adventure!