Monday, August 15, 2011

Our Sweet (but Studly) Cousin Alex!

Cousin Alex is one darling (soon to be) missionary! I’m so delighted that we had the whole family in Salt Lake for his farewell speech on Sunday.

Alex’s talk was sincere and heartfelt. He talked about thinking he probably wouldn’t serve a mission and what made him change his mind.

Alex related a story when his close friend, Christopher, was preparing to serve his mission in Germany just over 6 months ago. Lots of their mutual friends were grilling Christopher on his reasons for going. Christopher’s testimony was simple. He just knew when he kept the commandments and read his scriptures, his life went better, and he wanted to share that happiness he’d found with others.

Alex tested Christopher’s theory and started reading his scriptures more earnestly and felt comfort during really tough times as a Air Force Cadet. Amidst the chaos of the Academy, Alex felt at peace and genuinely happy.

Alex didn’t even need to tell us he was happy; it’s noticeably palpable. I don’t claim super powers but there are times when I feel a good spirit being around certain people. Right now, Alex is one of those. There is just something genuine about Alex’s desire to share his testimony of the gospel.

Besides Alex’s tender remarks, we were also quite impressed with the entourage of gorgeous girls that pitched up to hear Alex speak. Then after church we walked into the Olsen’s house filled with beautiful blond babes, all vying for Alex’s attention. As Paige said, “Who knew Cousin Alex was such a stud?”

I’m really proud of Alex. I’m glad he’s discovered the happiness, joy, and meaning spiritual things bring to our lives. I’m especially glad he’s decided to share this message by serving a mission. Alex will bless the lives of many Armenians.

“I’ve grown up in Utah, hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing and listening to church leaders address us, but I’ve never felt closer to God than when I was crawling through a mud tunnel, completely spent, in the middle of bootcamp. I didn’t think I could possibly do it, but God lifted me up and got me through.” -Alex Olsen, from his farewell talk