Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Notes From The Field

Dare I talk bad about my missionary son, but he doesn't write very good letters or emails.  Maybe it's hereditary because his brothers and father were not very informative while on their missions either. I have to send out a form letter including a stamped-addressed envelope to try and drag out the information I want to hear. Don't get me wrong, Elder Blair writes every week, but the skimpy one liner of, "It was a great week," never cuts it.  I need to hear more.  Happily we hit the jackpot with a letter yesterday, so here I blog.

First, he apologized for being the worst letter writer on the face of the planet and promised to do better.  Then, he followed with a story; the kind of story I wish he'd take the time to write and share more often:

We had a really cool experience the other day.  It was hailing, which is really weird in Texas because the hail is huge.  We had a few hours before our next appointment, so not wanting to be in the hail, we went knocking.  There were only a few people home on the street, but we felt good about it, so we kept pushing through.  Then we got to this house on the corner, we went up to the door and rang the bell and this guy came to the door.  I told him we were missionaries from the Mormon Church.  He kind of looked kind of surprised to see us on such an ugly day, but being the nice guy that he was he asked us if we would like to come in out of the cold.
We sat down and he asked if we wanted anything to drink.  We said we were fine, and again he kind of gave us a blank stare.  We quickly, showed him that we were "normal" by asking him questions about his family, what his hobbies were, that kind of stuff.  He then asked us a pretty profound question, "Why does my church say if a baby isn't baptized, they'll go to hell?"  We answered his question and went into a powerful lesson about the plan of salvation.  We extended a baptismal date and he accepted for March 6th.
I know people are being prepared and searching for answers to their questions.  I'm so excited that Gabriel accepted our message.  I love being a missionary, and all the things that have come through obedience and hard work.  I know the Church is true, that God lives, and loves every single one of His children.  Even when we stray and make huge mistakes, we can still feel his love and be forgiven.

Even though the mission is hard, it brings such great blessings.  I love you and miss y'all every day.
Oh, that Elder Blair inspires me!  I miss him too, but what a great work he is doing.  He has six months to go and I'm guessing they will be his best six months yet.  What an exciting experience to share the gospel and find someone accepting of the truth.

"And if it so be that you should labor
all your days in crying repentance
unto this people, and bring,
save it be one soul unto me,
how great shall be your joy with him
in the kingdom of my Father!"

Monday, February 15, 2010

This Is What It's All About

Hugh and I arrived home from our trip today. Happily everyone was safe and sound. We had such a nice time visiting with Bill, Chelsea, and Ryan in Arizona; and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  One night we went to Freestone Park and fed the ducks. We took great delight in watching Ryan and her little ways. 
Family is what it's all about - loving, learning, and growing.

"I have no greater joy
than to hear that my children
walk in truth."
3 John 4 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

34 Years

Yes, it's 34 years of marriage (Feb. 12th) and we're off today on a long weekend trip leaving the kiddies behind.  When was the last time we did that?  It's been a while, but being grandparents we're off to see more kiddies.  Our trip takes us to Arizona to visit Billy, Chelsea, and Baby Ryan.  We're looking forward to spending some time with them.  We plan to go to the Mesa Temple, sit in on one of Bill's Seminary classes, a hike, play with Ryan, everything else is a debate.  We'll have fun!

"Marriage itself must be regarded as a sacred covenant before God. When parents themselves have complied with the ordinances of salvation, when they have set the example of a temple marriage, not only is their own marriage more likely to succeed, but their children are far more likely to follow their example."

Ezra Taft Benson,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Oh, That I Were An Angel

I have been so busy with everything that I haven't worked much the last three months.  Being out of the habit, the thought made me a little sick thinking of going back.  Let's face it, substitute teaching is not stress free, but I'm getting in the groove again and happy to be working.  Plus, I volunteer a bit in my grandson's classroom.  If I'm at his school, I run over to his class and help out during my lunch break.  It's interesting to me how it's so much more stress free when I'm the grandma helping out compared to being the official teacher replacement.

Anyway, I've been feeling especially grateful for my good life.  I am so enriched because of the gospel.  I'm reminded of one of the reasons I felt impressed to pursue substitute teaching - to be an influence. I, sadly enough, am surrounded by children who are aching for a better life.  A day doesn't go by that I want to scoop up a child and say, "Could you just come home and live with me!"

My plea reminds me of Alma saying, "Oh that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart." (Alma 29:1)  I just want to make things better for everyone and yet realistically that's not possible.  That's not the way life works.  Alma couldn't declare unto every soul, with a voice of thunder, to repent and come unto Christ.  Instead he was allotted to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance.

So while I'm amongst these many children, hopefully some child will remember feeling loved.  Hopefully some child will remember feeling peace. Hopefully some child will remember encouragement and hope.  And someday, maybe, that child will find it.  I pray so, daily.

“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
and because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Words of a Prophet"

One of my goals for the new year was based on this talk by
President Monson.  The Church recently posted this presentation of his words.

I am still briefly recording my daily good deed in a journal.  Most of it I find is just my usual doings.  Few of my experiences stand out like my earlier post, In the Thick of Thick Things.  But I like pondering and evaluating my day, wondering if maybe I inadvertently shoved someone aside because of my busyness or should have done something differently.  I hope that is not the case, I am very conscious of my actions.  It's all been a very enlightening experience and I'm only a month into the new year.

"Words of a prophet;
Keep the commandments.
In this there is safety and peace."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Preparing - One Day at a Time

If you're wanting to learn more about food storage, here's a great resource, Preparing - One Day at a Time. I'm a follower, reading the insights of Crystal J. Young.  She's a mother of ten children living in Omaha, Nebraska.  She's not shopping at the store for three months.  It's been days since she started, I'm already learning.

"The revelation to store food
may be as essential
to our temporal salvation today
as boarding the ark was
to the people in the days of Noah."