Friday, January 27, 2012

Ma and Pa

A few weeks ago, Hugh and I were asked to serve as a Ma and Pa for the upcoming stake youth conference in July. It’s a four-day trek, a reenactment of sorts, of the Mormon pioneers going west.  With a number of youth we will form a family pulling a handcart along with a larger company of youth and adults from our stake.

Hugh knew the trek was coming up (it's every four years) and wondered if maybe we'd be asked.  Me, I was totally shocked!  Pushing and pulling a handcart through the Sierras - Really?  Hugh has no knees and I’m twice the size I was when we got married. Not to mention, at this age (we'll both be 59 when we head out) we’re more a Grandma and Grandpa than a Ma and Pa.  Anyway, in spite of all that, we both felt good about it and said, "YES!"

Hugh’s attitude, “I was training for a marathon, but I guess I’ll train for the trek instead.”

Me, “I was trying to lose weight and become more fit. I guess this will help me achieve my goal.”

Certainly our physical strength will be taxed and more, but in enduring trials comes great spiritual strength and blessings.  It’s not going to be easy.  With that said, I'm already in reenactment mode.  No doubt the Saints knew before they left that it wouldn't be easy, but they believed in Christ and moved forward each day with faith in every footstep.

With faith in every footstep,
we follow Christ, the Lord;
And filled with hope
through his pure love,
we sing with one accord.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


My cousin, Susan, is really my mother's first cousin.  Susan's mother and my grandmother are sisters and yet Susan and I are just months apart in age.  Because of our age and familial relationship we had an instant bond. We have some great memories of visiting my grandmother (her aunt) together. Over the years we've kept in touch and visited with each other, but not often.  Still, that feeling of love and camaraderie are always there when we get together.
I hadn't had any direct contact with Susan for several years, just my usual Christmas cards.  I was wondering about her and so was my cousin, Doyle, because neither of us had spoken with her for a while.  He tracked her down and found out she had been in a terrible car accident in Mexico some years ago.  She was now living in a nursing home facility in Yucaipa.  I was shocked, but happy to know where she was and renew our relationship.  Time flies.  It's been several years since we've regained contact.  I visit her periodically and every time I do I forget to bring my camera, but I remembered yesterday.  Yeah!  I got a photo of us.

Susan and I
Cousins Forever

While talking with Susan  I was amazed to find out she had recently gone to the ER several times.  YIKES!  She seems to be on the mend and she always has such a positive attitude.  By the array of Christmas cards displayed on wall of her room, you can see she is greatly loved even by those who are not family and close friends. Many people who work where she lives love to talk with her and hear her advice and wisdom.  She's always a good listener and graciously hopes to help and improve your way.  I know I'm always better when I visit Susan.  Her southern hospitality and kindness always comes through.
"True love lasts forever.
It is eternally patient and forgiving.
It believes, hopes, and endures all things."

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Temple Work

Last October Hugh and I started working in the Los Angeles Temple. When we were interviewed by President Martz last September he told us that our experience would be different than when we come as patrons receiving the blessings of the temple.  Instead, once a month, we serve those who come by helping to bestow the blessings of the temple.  It has been a wonderful opportunity and experience.  We're just getting started and we hope to continue and do more in the coming years.

I can bear testimony of the blessings of temple attendance.  No matter if I'm helping or coming as a patron, it's service.  There is a purifying power that takes place there and I'm so grateful for it.  I'm so happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the understanding I do of the Plan of Salvation.  The temple is a holy place and when I leave those walls I have been strengthened.  I have greater peace.

"To you who are worthy
and able to attend the temple,
I would admonish you to go often.
The temple is a place
where we can find peace.
There we receive
a renewed dedication to the gospel
and a strengthened resolve
to keep the commandments."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Here We Go Again!

Sister Janet Reynders
Janet is outta here!  She's off on another mission and I couldn't be more pleased.  I, her aunt, again have the privilege of monitoring her blog.  Today Sister Reynders enters the MTC - Missionary Training Center.  Her last mission was in Nauvoo (summer 2010). It was a special and unique experience serving four months as a young performing missionary. Now she'll be in Salt Lake City on Temple Square.  This Is The Place!  That's the name of her blog.  Janet picked it out and I was all over it.  If you'd like to follow along for the next year and a half, go to her blog and become a follower.  We'll be posting letters and pictures and if you have any encounters with Sister Reynders while touring Temple Square, of course, I want to hear about it.  Be sure and snap a photo and send it to me.

“After all that has been said,
[our] greatest and most important duty
is to preach the Gospel.”
Joseph Smith
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,
sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 113.