Saturday, April 18, 2009

Talking to a Mormon

After picking up my Marketing textbook from the SFU Harbour Centre campus today, I headed home on the SkyTrain. It was at my station where I ran into a well-dressed Mormon wearing slacks, a white button-up dress shirt, a blue tie, and sporting a simple black plastic name tag who wanted to share the purpose of life. Instead of blowing him off, I was totally intrigued to find out what he believes is the meaning of life. I asked him questions about the origins of Mormonism and how he came to believe. He told me that growing up he went to an evangelical church, but had questions about why there were so many different churches and theologies. He ran into a Mormon one day who explained to him why the Mormons believe theirs to be the true church. He explored the Mormon faith and found it to be true.

I asked him about Joseph Smith and he told me that they believe him to be the apostle that came to explain the true church which is how they have the Book of Mormon. He said that they believe Jesus Christ as their saviour; however, Joseph Smith came after where he received a vision from God who gave him the answers to the theological issues that have created the many different denominations we see today. The Mormons mission is to explain to people that in addition to believing Jesus as their saviour, they have the answers to what God's church looks like and that they are the true church.

I explained to him where I was coming from about how the rituals in church are man-made and that God from the Bible didn't explain how it is suppose to be setup. The true church is the people or the body. I said there are differences in theology and each one of us has a different interpretation of the Word, but the basis of Christianity is a personal relationship with God. He told me he believed that, but asked me what if there is something more than just knowing Jesus Christ as our saviour. I told him we don't have all the answers since we are human which is why we have a thing called faith, but one thing I do know is that Jesus is the first and the last who loved and died for us and having a relationship with Him is the most important thing in a believer's life. He agreed.

I asked him questions I've always wanted to know like their stance on polygamy and levels of heaven. He explained that they don't believe in polygamy, but originally they did because of the Old Testament. He also told me that there are three levels of heaven, but didn't go into further detail.

Throughout our conversation, I really just listened instead of argued. It was refreshing. The fact is we have our own beliefs, and I know I wasn't going to convince him with my view nor was he going to convince me, but I think it was very good to talk about the spiritual dimension of our lives. I love learning about different people's views on faith and religion so it wasn't a waste of my time having a conversation with him. He's really just a normal guy, but with different beliefs than me.

I found out he's a Korean-American who's family moved to California when he was one. He did a year at Bringham Young University and moved to Vancouver to do a two year missions trip. I asked him what he wants to do after, and he told me he plans to go to the California Institute of Technology to study Computer Science or Engineering. He eventually wants to go to MIT. Ha ha ha...I wonder if he was influenced by his parents with that decision much like my dad who wanted me to become a doctor or a lawyer. I ended up a Geographer, sorry Dad.

He asked if we could meet again, but I know it'll just open a door to having them come visit me on a daily basis, so I said no. But he did leave me a card with his contact information. We shook hands and then I headed home filled with some new knowledge about Mormonism.


Sunday, April 05, 2009

Ambulance Ride

I don't remember the last time my body felt as weird as it did this weekend. Yesterday morning, I went for a haircut and headed to the recreation centre to work out and go for a swim. After exercising, I felt totally awesome and as soon as I got home, I started to feel some loose bowel movement which meant I had to prepare for some D train. I thought I would be okay as I felt totally fine, but I was wrong. I ended up sitting on the throne at least ten times, too many to count. I wonder if it was the fish I ate the night before.

After the D train subsided, I decided maybe I should eat dinner which might help harden the stools and I was really hungry anyway. After hitting the toilet once more I didn't have to go to the bathroom after that. Feeling fine, I decided to hook up with my buddy Justin at midnight to go for a drink. I ordered a strawberry shake at a Vietnamese restaurant. Then, as soon as I got home I started to feel some pain in my abdominal area, but I felt maybe it will go away while I sleep.

At 5 am this morning, the pain in my abdomen was excruciating. It was aching and burning, and I decided maybe if I go to the bathroom I'd get some relief, but no. I was thinking at the time, could my appendix be ruptured? I didn't want to take a chance that it wasn't the case so I dialed 911. This is the first time I ever dialed that number. I explained my pain to dispatch and she sent an ambulance over to my place.

I met the paramedics at the door and took a ride in the ambulance to the hospital. A lot of documentation was taken during the ride and when I got to the hospital they processed me pretty quickly. I did some tests and before I knew it I was lying in a hospital bed. The doctor came in and asked what my symptoms were. He pretty much knew right away it wasn't my appendix, and explained that I had stomach acid. I drank this nasty concoction that freezes the stomach to eliminate the pain. He gave me a bunch of Antacid tablets and told me I was good to go home. I then asked the staff which hospital I was at and they laughed. I had no idea since I got a ride there. They pointed me in the direction of where the buses were.

It was beautiful and sunny this morning, and I took the wrong bus. I thought the bus I was taking would take me home in about ten minutes, but I ended up getting the grand tour of my city which took forty minutes. I then hopped onto the Skytrain and headed home and went to bed.

My loose bowel movements have come back and I hope it clears up soon. It's been a weird couple of days because when I have D train I generally have other symptoms like a fever, headache, muscle aches, know what a flu feels like. But this time I feel completely fine except for my bowels.

I'm thankful to be living in Canada because had I been in the States, that ambulance ride would have cost me at least $1000 against an insurance policy and would have affected probably my decision whether or not to go. I'm glad we have universal health care.