The Road to El Mante

26 Oct

Alejandro was set to meet us with the hire car at 10am. so at 9:3  I headed down to the main office to hand in my key. I also thought that i might get the chance to meet up with Warren. Waiting in the office is another man. I waited about a minute before asking if him if he was Warren Aston. He said that he was.

I told him that i was going on the trip with Alejandro with him. I had before assumed that he’d been told that i was coming down. but nope was a total surprise to him.

So I introduced myself telling him how i ended up in Mexico.

then we waited for Alejandro to turn up.due the place being hard to find it took Alejandro a while to find us. But when he did we loaded our bags into the car and headed off.

The day was to be our longest driving day . abt a 9 hr drive to El Mante.. There is this mountain chain that parallels the coast.

So it was hour after hour of the same thing. It seems that there are a series of connecting plains and valleys.

We stopped for lunch at resturante Santiago. Its a pretty popular place. its unique as the people who cook your food are out in the open . On this trip Im sticking to pretty plain fare as I dont want to end up sending most of my time on the toilet..SO i had a simple chicken noodle soup and some tortillas.

Alejandro is a great guy he regales us with many different experiences that he has been through.

If I understand it right he was in Mexico city when lots of UFOs descended on the city. thousands of people saw them. he has also had other experiences seeing UFOs.which he told us about as well. I don’t think it is my right to tell his stories over the internet so I will just leave it at that out of respect.

Warren also shared about many of the adventures that he had been on.

Finally just after dark we arrived at El Mante. Alejandro had the hotels address but it turned out not to be a viable option so we headed to somewhere else instead. but we did find another nice place were we stayed for the next two days .

We were all really tired from the long drive so we separated to our rooms and went to sleep.

Viva La Mexico

26 Oct

I woke up early in the morning i had a shower and some buns for breakfast . At abt 7 I went back to the kitchen I was starting to get anxious as i couldn’t see any signs that Kirk was awake. But shortly after seven he appeared and we headed to the airport. we talked about many things on the way there. He gave me pens and some extra cash to give to Alejandro.

After saying goodbye to Kirk I went and  go some snacks and a drink from the vending machine.when I got to customs they made me throw out my snacks and drink . They also threw away my toothpaste because it was 10gs over the limit.

not impressed with the customs people at SLC Airport. so got some more snacks in the boarding area then waited for my flight.

Got to mexico abt 3 in the afternoon.  found out that my plane landed at terminal 2 and my Hotel was near terminal 1. It would have taken me an hour to walk between the two terminals so i caught a taxi.

Took several pics on the drive to the other side of the airport. I was nervous to be in a non English speaking country. It took me a while to work out were the hotel was.There was also a major freeway out the front an no obvious way to get across it. found that there were occasionally  overhead crossings  there was one to a fancy hotel that was next to mine.  It is a small Hotel that looks like most of the people who normally use it are Mexican truckers.
hospedale Aeroporto , So I unpacked did some washing ad hoped that it would be dry by the morning.
Then went out for an evening walk I saw a Mcdonalds and went and ordered some dinner. it was only then that I realized my bank card was back at the hotel.I didn’t want to have to cross over the road and then back again to get to the hotel But I couldn’t work it out so back tracked and crossed at the fancy hotel.
When I got back I didn’t know whether i could be bothered going back out again. but i decided to anyway with my bank card this time. So this time I followed the road in the opposite direction  Found that there was a closer way way to cross the freeway so i walked down to Mcdonalds got my stuff and came back again.

Going to sleep that night I was really Nervous I would Meet  Warren in the morning. This was supposed to be his trip and I’d kinda gatecrashed it. but I felt that I really needed to be here for some reason that only the Lord Knows. A million thoughts racing through my head would he be annoyed with me ,would he hate me, ect, ect.
Warren is a bit of a personal hero of mine. He is an Aussie whos been able to make a big contribution to Book of Mormon studies while still being on the other side of the world Ive always thought that if he can do it so can I in a small if limited way.It was his talk to my ward back in the mid 80’s that got me interested in Book of Mormon archaeology. Its always nervous when it comes to meeting a personal hero because they are never what you have built them up in your mind to be.


Salt Lake

25 Oct

I arrived in Salt Lake early in the morning. but it was only after id’d arrived that I realized that Id used most of my phone battery reading on the plane . So didn’t get many photos of Salt Lake City.

SO i called Kirk when I arrived. I talked to his wife Shannon. we organised for her to pick me up at 12. so I could have a few hours walking around Salt lake.

My main reason for wanting to come Salt lake was that I want to set in motion a possible future research project.

There was a free shuttle bus to salt lake temple. but I had just missed it. so I played some Pokemon go then went to the toilet the I went to the shuttle bus it was only when I saw the bus coming that I realized that I’d left my walking stick in the bathroom so i went back there hoping that I would be able to get back to the bus in time. . My walking stick was gone from the toilet but I saw a cleaner and asked if he knew were my walking stick might be. He found out where it was and was able to quickly take me to it. So by then I had 5 mins to get back to the bus . I tried my hardest but couldn’t get back there in time.

As I was looking around I saw a train come in. so  I hopped on the train and caught it to Temple Square. I headed immediately to the Church history museum. I went through and saw the current display. I found the artifact that I had come to see but was dismayed to find that the artifact had had its base replaced.cause the base was essential to my future research project . with out it there would not be much that I could do.

So I went through the rest of the museum. The only other artifact that stood out was the Joseph Smith death mask. it was eerie to look at the face of the prophet.  It gave me shivers it was like he was looking into my soul. it was very  nerve racking . made me wonder what he would think if he was judging my soul  would he find it acceptable.

So after I had completed the tour of the museum I went .and talked to the sister missionary  at the front counter. I told her that I would like to know more about the artifact. telling her i had a project in mind if i could get access to the artifact. She called the museums curator I asked him about the new floor on the artifact . he explained that the old floor was so degraded that it needed to be protected. they had protected it.

I outlined the research project that I wanted to conduct. He was interested in the project he found it fascinating. He would do all he could to facilitate me being able to carry out my research project.. He gave me his business card so I could email him the outline of my project.I left the museum happy that I might be able to carry out my project.

I then walked around temple Square looking at all the things that i had only previously seen on TV. I went to go into the tabernacle but it was locked there was some musical practice going on. So I continued my walk around  Temple Square. There was a wedding out the front of the temple taking photos I ducked behind them.

I was looking for the entrance to the temple but couldn’t work out which door was the entrance. I sat on a bench and meditated and prayed for a bit. Then got up and continued walking. I went back too the church history museum as I remembered seeing a plug there I needed to charge my phone so I could call sister Maglby. I didn’t know her name at this time. .

Asked the sister missionary at the front desk if i could use the power point. She agreed. So I plugged my phone in. I called Sister Magelby and  we organised for her to pick me up out the front of the Museum. I had a look at the pioneer cottage while I waited.
On the Drive to the Maglbys  Shannon I now  knew her name pointed out several prominent places about Salt lake. I my phone had been charged I would have been   taking dozens of Photos. so annoyed at my self that. In case you cant tell.

we broke the ice talked about each others families. her mom owned a cabin up at mount timpanogus so we went for a drive up the canyon. then on the way back we drove past the mount timpanogus temple which is not that far from the magelbys house,. when I go back I’ll go to that temple would like to walk there.

I arrived at the house . Shannon made me a sandwich ham cheese and mustard. which my sensitive stomach regretted later. she showed me to my room. . Kirk came home we went down to his office and talked for a bit we skyped ALejandro. just to make sure that everything was ok that he was able to fit me into the schedule.
I went  to lie down for a bit . I woke up 4 hrs later. I went and had some dinner then went back to sleep. I needed to be at the Airport by 8 in the morning so set an alarm,

That was a long one I hope that you enjoyed it though,

Sleeping rough in LA. 

24 Oct

The last flight ti Salt lake city left LA at 8 pm . My plane got in at 7.4o. Pm. So not a chance of catching it. Due to having to go through customs and such. 

The next flight to Salt Lake  City left at 6am. 

So I had an 8 hr layover.i hadnt thought to book a hotel .and when i looked i realised they were all too expensive for the limited funds that I had. 

So I was resigned to sleeping at the Airport for the night. I walked around and found an area were several other people were doing the same thing.

Later i tealised that it was the only public powerpoint. I was afriad i might not be able to charge my phone but there it was provided to me. So I plugged my phone in an let it charge and went to sleep for abt 2.5 hrs. Then the night cleaning  crew came round and sleeping go harder. 

I would drift off and then there banging and clanging would wake me up again. So my sleep was fitfull from that time on. At abt 4am the others started to get there stiff togethe and leave. 

I forgot to mention that a nice man from Delta airlines came at some point inthe night and gave us all airplane blankets and pillows to use. My laptop bag makes a good enough pillow but it was nice to have something more. 

After the last round of earing airplane food with my sensitivr stomach i hadn’t eaten anything since. 

So i bought some diet coke. When looking for something else i saw something you’d nebrr see in Oz maple bacon flavored chips. I was expecting then to be horrible but they were too bad

So i got on the plabe and headed to Salt lake city. 

As it was a smaller plane i could see out the window this time. So i got a nice picture.  

I read my scriptturws and did some rrseach on the fligjt. Which meant that my phone was nearly flat by the time i got to salt lake. Which i wish it hadnt been cause there were so many photos i would have liked to have taken. But I’ll tell you dear readers about that another day.

Setting out on a New Adventure. 

23 Oct

Well this happened rather fast. On  the 14th . I skyped my boss kirk to clarify some of what i was writing for book of mormon central. At the end of the call he mentioned that fellow Aussie Warren Ashton was heading down to Mexico to look at hill Cumorah candidates.  I remember at the time thinking that it was probably months away. 

Iater that night i got the overwhelming feeling from the spirit that i should go on the trip. I sent a message back to Kirk that i felt i should go. He said that if i wanted to go he could make it happen.  He the outlined that warren was leaving the next week end. 

But i really felt that i should go. So used my remaining savings and started looking for flights to salt lake city. 

It was 150 dollars cheaper to fly through china than to fly direct to the us. 

So i figured I’d do it that way it just adds to the adventure right.  

I feel that i must have been ment to go because everthing kust fell in place so quickly. 

Fiona had mostly finished dismantling the hydroponics farm. Jodi would be able to look after the kids if needs be. 

Fiona and i left early on the 20th. We were thinking of leaving on the 19th but fiona got back late from her latest trip to the hydroponics farm . So was too tired that night. It ment getting up at 4 in the morning. 

The drive was eventful but I won’t go into that on a public blog. 

A 9 hour flight to Gongshou China. With my sensitivr stomach i was tossing up even beforw i got on the plane weter to eat. But when they bought the food around it smelled so nice that i ate the food. But i regretted it later.  Followed by a 4 hour layover.  I lay down on the carpet and slept for 2 hours.  

Will tell the rest at another time


30 Sep

I have/had a friend when I was growing up.  We became friends in either year 3 or 4 of primary school. At the end of year 10 . He left suddenly.  I was sad and hurt and feeling abandoned.I moved on and got new friends. But there was not the depth of connection there had been with Rob. At some time while he waa away he called to say he was safe. He couldny really talk cause his mums new boyfriend did want people to know where they were. 

As far as I remember that was the only contact I had. 

Toward the end of year 11 he came back to school again. He tried to pick up our friendship where it had left off. But I was mad at him for abandoning me. So kept fobbing him off till he stopped . He got his own friends. At the end of years 11 he asked me if id repeat year 11 with him. I rudely declined his offer. 

Then part way through yr 12 I learnt that he had a girlfriend.  So that made me jealous of him. That was the state of affairs at the end of high school as far as I saw it. Jealous and hating my former best friend.

Going on a mission for my church changed all that. I realised how stupid I’d acted.  That it wasnt really hus fault he was jusr a kid. It was really his mums boyfriend that was to blame. The worse thing was that i am a Christian and what id done to him was the worst example of being a Christian that i could imagine. I felt sad that i might have messed up his chance of being a Christian.  

When i came back i saw Rob a couple of times at centerlink but avoided him. I just felt a crushing sense of guilt. Ididnt want to connect for fear that he would hate me for the way i treated him. 

It was a few years after i was married that i told my wife abt Rob. She knew how sorry i was for the way id treated him and encouraged me then and afterwards to say sorry and asked forgiveness. If I did that and he still hated me then id done all i could to remedy the breach.

I ran into Robs older brother at somepoint. I got an address and phone number.  By the time i got the courage to call it was no longer his number.  I thought abt going to the address and seeing if the new tenants knew were he’d but was still too fearfull. 

Then along came Facebook.  Several friends from high school reconnected with me. I searched for him but therw were just too many people to search through.

I periodically searched again.  In about 2010 it occured to me to seached for his other siblings.  I was extremely blessed to gind his sister.  She was about to get married. If i hadn’t of found her when i did she would have had a diferent last name and i might never have found Rob again. 

I connected with her and she said she’d pass the message on to Rob that I was looking to reconnect.  

Years went by and i heard nothing. This last week i reached out to his sister again . She sent my message on this time I got a reply. 

He doesnt hate me. It was a stupid thing to think. I dont really know why i ever thought he would. 

Our lives have gone in different directions but Im glad to have found my friend again. Who knows what the future holds butr at least now  there is one less thing on my concience to feel burdened by. 

It had to this time been one of the greatest regrets of my life not being able to say sorry to Rob for the way that i imagined I treated him. 

Theres now 25 years of missed oportunities to catch up on. 

Youtube broadcast coming in the future. 

21 Jul

I have been thinking of doing youtube for a while now . Ive started to set up a channel to achieve it. I’ll go live once that is done and start posting videos every couple of days or so. I plan to focus on 4 themes. Philosophy, Aussie history,Ecomonics and last days /endtimes stuff. Hope you all like it. 

I will publish a essay here that the youtube broadcast will be based on. 

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