Monday, August 30, 2010

High Hopes for Tom and Janet

Elder Atcheson, Elder Blair (Tommy),
Elder Olsen, Elder Garcia
One of many missionary moments
from the last two years -
Serving at a soup kitchen

Sister Reynders (Janet) performing in
High Hopes and Riverboats
More than once I have referred to my niece's mission in Nauvoo as "Mormon Summer Stock"; meaning, she gets to entertain visitors in her calling as a Young Performing Missionary.  She sings and dances, but more importantly - TESTIFIES.  Janet is home now and heading back to BYU-Idaho for school.  Happily she made a point to stop by with other family and friends this weekend to celebrate Tommy's homecoming.

She was able to be here to visit and hear Tommy speak about his mission on Sunday.  We also had a little family fireside while she was here Saturday night.  We sat and talked enjoying each others company, but we also shared in their missions as Tommy and Janet told stories and experiences.  Again, more importantly, they testified of the divine truth.  Their testimonies touched our hearts.  What a great weekend we had together.  I was so glad to feel and be a part of it all.

Best wishes to Janet and Tom as they move on.
Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field
1. A knowledge of and love for God our Eternal Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. A knowledge of and love for the scriptures, the word of the Lord.
3. An increased love for parents.
4. A love for the people among whom they labor.
5. An appreciation for hard work.
6. The assurance that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is available to each of us when we live for it.
7. An understanding of the importance of teamwork.
8. The value of personal virtue.
9. The faith to act.
10. The humility to pray.

Gordon B. Hinckley,
“The Message:
Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field,”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here's TOMMY!!!

I can't believe we were late! The traffic was horrific. Really we got there just in time, but come to find out Tommy's plane arrived early. He waited 10 minutes for us. I guess the tradition continues. Hughie's parents were late picking him up on his mission return. He so didn't want to do that to Tommy, but it happened. Of course, any concerns melted away when we saw each other. What a happy reunion! And Hughie didn't take a picture of me hugging our son so I could put it on the blog!!!  AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! He was caught up in the happy moment too.

Tom was released that night with President Porter. He's Tommy Blair now and it's off to the dentist today to check out those teeth after two years. 
Sammy, Elder Blair, and Jeremiah
at the Long Beach Airport
"A mission can serve as a standard for the rest of a returned missionary’s life. . . .You can retain that same enthusiasm for your mission. Almost daily, you can draw upon the experiences you had and the testimony you built during those days. It would be foolhardy to throw away those months of growth and maturity or to become, once more, the same person who entered the field. Those who continue to nurture the personal growth that was so abundant in the mission field will one day be greeted by the Savior at the end of life’s mission with the words of divine approval: 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant.' (Matt. 25:21.)"
Bruce L. Olsen,“Home from a Mission,” Ensign, Jun 1991, 46

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Love to See the Temple

Remember how every year I'm setting another goal to go to the temple more often? I've talked about going more, but nothing has really changed. I get a few more visits in each year beyond my usual dozen. I have been so very busy with this and that, so I really never thought I could attend more. Anyway, I've continued to maintain my usual pace, but something has changed.  I have a great need to go to the temple. I don't even refer to as a need. I refer to it as, "I have to go." I don't know if I can keep up the pace, but I am going more often.  I've picked a day each week and gone to the temple three weeks in a row. I was worried about driving. I was worried about the time. But it's working out and I'm feeling the blessings already.

The LA Temple has been closed for two weeks for maintenance so I was off to Redlands.  Cassie went with me today. Last week I rendezvoused with my cousin Doyle and his wife Julie.  The week before was a trip with Becky to LA.  It's all so beautiful!  It's been a wonderful experience, my weekly venture.  I'm feeling hopeful.  I love to see the temple, but I like going inside too.

The Redlands California Temple

"Temples are places of personal revelation. When I have been weighed down by a problem or a difficulty, I have gone to the House of the Lord with a prayer in my heart for answers. The answers have come in clear and unmistakable ways."

Ezra Taft Benson, 
“What I Hope You Will Teach Your Children about the Temple,”
Ensign, Aug 1985, 6

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Short and Sweet

My nephew, Jake Lockhart, came through town after a little trip to Provo, Utah.  He's currently working and living with my brother in Clovis, CA this summer, but he went back to BYU to go through the ceremony of walking with his graduating class.  His Dad and sister, Jessica, came out from North Carolina to watch and be a part of the celebration. We're glad he came by and gave us a thrill.  It was good to see him.  He wasn't even here 24-hours, but it was sweet.  Congratulations Jake!

"The future belongs
to those who believe
in the beauty
of their dreams.”

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Car + Vacation

Hughie lost his company car to a crash earlier this year.  Thankfully no one was hurt.  The company has bought several vehicles from a dealership in St. George before.  Happily they found a car to meet the company's needs and Hughie's needs.  We had to go pick up the car, so at the last minute we made it into a little vacation.

We spent our first night in Vegas.  We decided to walk the strip to get to the HardRock Cafe for dinner.  What were we thinking?!  Mama wasn't coping.  Daddy said, "Never again!"  Janna said, "Maybe I should come here on my honeymoon."  And Sam stumbled the whole way because I oh so wanted him to keep his eyes closed.  We got through it, but again, "What were we thinking?!"  Oh, I know, we weren't thinking.

The food was great, it was fun to see the HardRock Cafe memorabilia, and while we walked back to our hotel room we got to see the Bellagio water fountain display.  We tried to calm ourselves in our hotel room by watching a show on the Discovery channel.  Uhh, it was Shark week - that will do it!   We finally went to sleep.

Our next day was the drive to St. George. We hit all the Church history sites, had a couple of meals and our day was done.  We had a little time that evening to splash around in the pool and hang out in the spa.  Then it was back upstairs for some more Shark week.  Do we know how to party or what?!

The next morning Hughie picked up his car and we were on our way home in two seperate vehicles.
What we went for, Hugh's new ride.
2010 Hyundai Sonata
Janna and Sam at the St. George Temple.

Ready to tour the Jacob Hamblin home.

"We live in a world that is filled with options. If we are not careful, we will find every minute jammed with social events, classes, exercise time, book clubs, scrapbooking, Church callings, music, sports, the Internet, and our favorite TV shows. . . Families need unstructured time when relationships can deepen and real parenting can take place. Take time to listen, to laugh, and to play together."

M. Russell Ballard,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Things to Come

"Always remember
the true source of your blessings."

My husband goes to the prison once a week and currently meets with two seperate groups.  Many times he doesn't meet even though he goes out there.  There are often extenuating circumstances where the prison areas are shutdown and prisoners are confined to their cells.  Hugh gets discouraged when he goes out there week after week and then doesn't get to meet with anyone, but then he had an experience (a tender mercy) that confirmed his efforts are appreciated.

The other day he reported that he had two good meetings and the LDS prisoners even brought a few friends.  After the meeting one man who had come for the first time and is not LDS commented to Hugh, "You know I've always been told not to meet with the Mormons, but I don't get it, all you did was talk about Christ."  He was very sincere, said he enjoyed the meeting and that he would like to continue to come to the LDS meetings.

I never get it either. The prophet Nephi wrote, "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do... And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." We know the source of all strength, happiness, and blessings is Jesus Christ.  I tell this story in preface to this Mormon Message by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland where he testifies clearly of whom our blessings come: