Saturday, June 16, 2018

My Dad as a major influence

A while ago I was asked who one of the biggest influences in my life was. I had to say my dad.

My dad is unique in a lot of ways. He is a humble man, and so in that way unassuming, but when you talk to him he is larger than life.

My dad is EXCITED about everything. He loves the gospel and has a lot of enthusiasm for it. It is infectious. When I teach Primary, I often find myself giddy. "Yay! I get to teach about this topic." It's because my dad loves everything, and his enthusiasm has molded how I approach everything about the Gospel.

My dad is a hard core MISSIONARY. You cannot think of my dad without mentioning this. It has defined his life in so many ways. He wants to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone, in every situation, and usually does!

My dad loves WEATHER. I'm sure I get my love of nature from my dad. He loves big storms and piles of snow and everything in between.

My dad taught me to INCLUDE OTHERS and how to make small talk, to make people feel comfortable. He tutored me over and over as I watched him seek out visitors at church, or get people involved in conversations, or spend time asking questions and getting to know someone who might be new and feel uncomfortable. It's a skill that is invaluable. No matter how comfortable he felt with other people in the car, or people at the party, or whatever it was, he always turned his attention to those with which he was unfamiliar, and set about making them feel welcome. We all came to learn that that was our duty-- ask questions, be interested. I am always surprised that this is a rare skill. It was a big part of our growing up and it has served me well in countless situations. It's one of my favorite things I have learned from my dad.

My dad taught me to be FLEXIBLE AND FEARLESS, willing to adapt. I was never afraid to get up in front of a crowd, or teach a lesson on the fly, or add my thoughts in a discussion. He taught me to not fear change, to look for the good in it, and embrace it. We moved three times when I lived with my parents, and my dad set the example of enjoying change.

My dad taught me to BE DEPENDABLE. We were never late, and we showed up to everything. It has taught me a lot about respecting others' time and supporting others. We always signed up to clean the church, or came to every activity, and came early.

My dad taught me about NOT BEING IDLE OR NEEDY. My dad gets up early and checks things off his list. My dad cares for others' needs before his own. Aside from being physically sick, I don't have any recollections of my dad needing anything. He's never cared if you got him a birthday gift. He's not offended if you forgot a Christmas present. He is content with his life, however it turns out.

My dad is, in a word, PURE. He doesn't think nasty thoughts, he's not capable of harm. 

My dad is in so many ways, "not of this world." He seems immune to pitfalls that beset many of us mere mortals, and I've learned so much from his example. I feel honored I get to have him as my dad!

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