July 15, 2008
Written and delivered by Brian Soderborg
In a lot of ways Alex and I are alike: We love being in the sun, we like girls and, we have similar facial features. Growing up it was often said that Alex looks like Brian, but Brian doesn’t look like Alex; which is weird because I’m the twin. In fact several people look like me but I don’t look like any of them. I often took solace in this but secretly didn’t tell anyone.
Born into mortality five minutes and forty seconds before I surprised the world, set him apart from the rest. That was September 15, 1983. For the next half a dozen years we lived in a little cottage of a house by Liberty Park. It was a huge house until one day we left the windows open and it shrank, at least that’s what my mom says. In our time at Harrison (we name our houses by way of the street they’re on) we would go on walks around the park for Family Home Evening; climb the gigantic trees in our back yard, these things were huge; sure the house was small but you could see these trees from the park and in front of the house and they were big. Mom would put the laundry on the clothes line and we’d eat raspberries and apricots from around the yard. Inside we had one bed for the six of us to sleep on, and so we did. At bedtime we’d all find a spot around the edge of the bed so as to not be by each other, in the morning we’d all be on top of each other like puppies in the middle of the loft. The one on bottom was usually the first one awake, not sure why… Under the ladder to the loft was a small hole we used for a laundry shoot; this was also used as a garbage collector and playground. The shoot was made from air duct stuff and it emptied into the side of a refrigerator that opened from the front, we could never figure out how mom knew where all of our mess went when we had to clean our room. We moved from Harrison just before the first grade started.
I don’t mean to be a braggart but I was pretty much his best friend until he started dating this astonishing woman from Las Vegas, Brittany. Yep, Alex and I were best of buds. You know when you move and have to make new friends? He didn’t have to do that so much as he moved with his best friend. I’m not saying that he didn’t get new friends; on the contrary, he had more friends than I did. I got to be a part of those friendships and our circle of friends increased.
Living at 25th, 2500s 900e, Alex would take his turn mowing the back yard, swimming with his brothers and sisters in metal garbage cans, and climbing the multiple trees along the back fence. There we had a tire swing my dad put in and we’d spin on it until we got so dizzy we couldn’t walk. On October 12, 1991, almost one month after his eighth birthday, he entered into a pact with a Dear Friend and Father, the Creator of this world and many more. By doing so he promised to obey the rules and precepts taught to him by his parents, and work on being like Jesus. With that he took on the responsibility of choosing for himself and accepting the consequences, whether good or bad. For example, if it was cold outside and he didn’t feel like wearing a coat, he didn’t and when he got cold he had noone to blame but himself. We moved again around the forth grade, just down the street behind Fairmont Park, we’d swim every day in the summer and only go home when we saw our dad driving home on ninth east. Sometimes we could convince dad to come swimming with us. It was at Simpson that the trials started for O.J. There we were watching the traditional friday night t.v. when suddenly they interupt our regular broadasting to show us a police chase; nobody cared about the chase we’re missing the show. We later made fun of it, because we lived on Simpson Ave. and our dad always had to have orange juice in the fridge, so we often had our own “o.j. Simpson” trials.
In the middle of the seventh grade we moved again out to West Valley. We were a moving family and because of such we helped others move, a lot. Alex was always there, along with my dad and myself. We find in the good book of Mosiah 2:17, That when we are in the service of our fellow being we’re only in the service of our God. Alex loved God, and served him in various church callings as well as in his personal time. When asked what he thought about in his spare time recently he responded, “How I can get closer to God.” On his nineteenth birthday, he was ordained an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and received the Melchizedek priesthood, the same priesthood that God has and all his holy prophets from the time of Adam down through the ages to our day. In Jan. of 2003 he received a letter, calling him to service in the name of the Lord. He was to go to Mexico and teach the word of God to those whom the Lord had prepared to hear it. He left to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) on April 2, of that same year. For two brief years he lived and served in multiple cities and climates. He saw the ocean and even got his feet wet a couple times. The most interesting part of his mission was the lack of being alone. He grew up with a companion, he’s on a mission with one, but he just could not get away from people who asked that age old and very aggravating question: “Do you have a twin?” Of course in spanish it sounds different and they use a different combination of words to ask it, but the fact remained that people saw him and/or me and couldn’t believe it.
“What are you doing here?”
“Serving my mission, where do I know you from?”
“My house in Michoacan.”
“Oh you know my brother, he’s down that way.”
“You have a twin?!”
Having completed his time in Mexico he returned to life in these United States, with strange new traffic laws. He acquired a set of wheels and enjoyed every minute he spent on ‘em. When he wasn’t riding his motorcycle he was helping people. Be that for his job or just being around asking the right questions at the right time. In other events he was with family. Traveling to Grandma’s house, going camping with his new brother-in-law, or hanging his niece upside down by her feet, ‘cuz she loves that. I mentioned earlier that I was his best bud until he met this girl. He was her home teacher and she remembers the irst time she met him. “He arrived on his motorcycle and she wasn’t impressed; his hair was too long and dishevled from the ride. His eyes were red, most likely from the bike and lack of sleep, his tie was short and his pants high. At that time Idecided he was a little too dorky for me. Which I have to laugh at because he became quite a stud to me.” She asked him out on their first date to the Soroity winter formal, ‘he was a perfect gentilman, even offering to carry her across the snow covered street because she was in heels and it was one of the worst snow falls of the year.’ He liked her a lot, for Valentines he made her flowers from snickers and kisses, he wrappped them up in plastic and then delivered them to her at work, that made him so happy, I know because I heard all about it for two days. Britters is from Las Vegas and as he traveled there with her for fun with friends or some family excursion, he made for a “great Vegas car trip buddy.” Every Sunday that I’m aware of, the Berholds have a get together at their house and sing a combination of songs: Sisters in Zion and the Army of Helaman. … It’s a good tradition they have, I know I’ve enjoyed participating in it.
I was out hometeaching this past week and my companion, Steve, shared a scripture about his mission that fits Alex to a tee. It’s found in the twelveth chapter of Ether, verse four. … Alex was anchored in the faith and hope of being on the right hand of God, and that led him to abound in good works and stay steadfast. For the last year or so he has been a volunteer in the temple, helping others make promises to their Lord and God. I believe he is still helping others, only now he’s once again fully committed, with a sure knowledge that the Lord loves us and is always there. Watching from on high, Our Heavenly Father laughs and cries with us. I know he loves us and is taking good care of Alex.