Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Thanksgiving Gathering 2012

"We gather together
to ask the Lord's blessings."
Theodore Baker, 1894

Ammon, hanging from a tree in our front yard.

More back blogging - There were a few days during the Thanksgiving 2012 holiday where we had lots of people in our home and lots of activities.
LA Temple Trip

Me, Adam, and Sally

The Dinner
Uncle Adam and the Bird

Devil's Punchbowl Hike

Five households represented
Grampy (the oldest - 59)
Jeremiah (the youngest - almost 9)

Checking out the view

Tom and Adam
Taking  pictures

Late Fall
Days like this make you glad
you live in California

Sally and Adam

Family Posing,
Blair's, Dedman, Spiel, and Reynders

The Gang's All Here!
The Little Rascals at Apollo Park
Happy to be together!

Feeding Ducks
Being together with cousins galore

2nd Cousins
Natalie and Ryan

2nd Cousins
Joseph and Ryan

2nd Cousins
Jayson and Dexter

A great gathering!
Happy to be together!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Nepali St. Paul

Each week my sister-in-law, JoLinda, sends me the letters from her missionary children. I wanted to share part of Elder Reynders letter. He's now serving in his second area - St. Paul, Minnesota.  I find his situation fascinating and inspiring - read on and then watch the video:

I have a lot of stuff to tell you because this area is absolutely nothing like Buffalo. I am in the center of St. Paul. I can see the Cathedral [and] hear the bells every day. I thought NPS stood for North Saint Paul, but it actually stands for Nepali Saint Paul. This means I work a ton with Nepali people. They are all refugees that came to the U.S. in the last 5 years. Most of them are Hindu. They eat curry and every time we go into one of their homes they feed us. I love their food. I have no idea what they are saying though. I get to study Nepali for an hour every day and I love it. I have been wanting to learn another language for the past couple of months and now I get to.

My companion, Elder M------, is still learning Nepali. I replaced the only native Nepali in our mission and he spoke Nepali fluently. I am not sure why I got put here, but I like it. My Nepali name is Sagh-meer. It is easier for the Nepali people to say than Elder Reynders.

I love the city. There are almost no white people. I love diversity which there was very little of in Buffalo. My mission President called my new area the U.N. because there are people from all over the world in this area. In the past five days I have met people from West Africa, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Mexico, Nepal, and Thailand. My whole district serves in my ward. There are 8 Elders. There are two sets of Karen Elders. Karen (pronounced Ka-REN) - they are a minority of Asians from Thailand, then the English Elders, and me and Elder M------, the Nepali Elders. My zone is the St. Paul Asian Zone. All the Hmong Elders are in our Zone along with my district.

And this gospel
of the kingdom
shall be preached
in all the world
for a witness
unto all nations;
and then
shall the end come.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mormonville - Day 7

This trip was not only fun, but educational.  As Lisa and I would drive, talk, visit with people, and sight-see; we would write down questions we had.  After we got home we'd search for answers, looking things up on the Internet and then discuss it some more. Our understanding increased, our friendship increased.  I am so grateful for Lisa.  What a wonderful thing it is to have such a wonderful friend.

Our last day, September 12th -
Homeward Bound

One for the road -
A "Cracker Barrel" breakfast in St. George

Scary sights in Vegas

We just kept driving, and driving, and driving until

"Honey, I'm HOME!"

Mark and Lisa

Martha and Hugh

Other than my husband, who is really my best of friends; I have never really done anything like this before - a road trip with a friend.  When my mother was older she would go on trips sometimes with her friend, Janeen, (our host in Bountiful).  We talked with Janeen about her and my mom, trips, and compared them to Lisa and I.  Janeen said, "Going on a trip with a friend is great, if you really like your friend."  Well, Lisa and I had a great time.  I'm sure we'll get to do something like this again someday.  In the meantime . . .

"There's no place
like home."
L. Frank Baum - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mormonville - Day 6

September 11th - a big drive today.  We toured Welfare Square in Salt Lake City before heading California way. I had never been there before.  It was my favorite part of our trip.  Later in the day, after eating in a little diner in Beaver, we took the scenic route up the mountain.

Cedar Breaks

I was calling it the mini Grand Canyon.

Lisa, conquering her fear of heights. 

Freezing cold on the top of the mountain.
Burning hot at the bottom.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”― Rachel CarsonSilent Spring

Unbelievable scenery

I thought these views were a top highlight.


Lisa in true form was all about the animals -

and dog alike.

We finally arrived in Hurricane, Utah and stayed with the Thorley's for the night.
This was the view from their home.
We didn't take any pictures of our hospitable hosts.
They made our trip even more enjoyable.
We watched a movie that night, visited, had some snacks,
and not to mention - a great night sleep.
Thanks to the Thorley's!.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mormonville - Day 5

"Attend the temple. You will be blessed for so doing. Every man or woman who goes into the house of the Lord leaves there a better man or woman than he or she was when he or she entered the house of the Lord. The house of the Lord will have a refining effect upon you. It will cultivate unselfishness within your lives. It will build righteousness. It will impress upon you the importance of doing what you ought to do. Go to the house of the Lord." - President Gordon B. Hinckley

One of the main reasons we came on this trip was to attend the Brigham City Temple Open House which means we were able to go inside for a tour before it was dedicated.

Readying for our tour of the Brigham City Temple.
In front of us across the street set the Brigham City Tabernacle.

Another view of the Tabernacle

September 10th
In front of the entrance to the Brigham City Temple
in the morning sun.
We had tickets for an early tour.

The Brigham City Temple

Another view
It was built on a site of an old school.

After our temple tour we toured the tabernacle.

Antelope Island

After our time in Brigham City we hit Antelope Island.
The largest of all the islands in the Great Salt Lake.

The overcast day made our trip on Antelope Island very pleasant.

Real Bison Up Close

This was one of Lisa's favorite parts of our trip.  She's all about animals and being able to see the bison so close was amazing.  We also saw antelope and other wildlife as we toured the island.

Beautiful scenery, but not much in the way of trees.

Visited the original homestead.
Lots of history.
It boasts the oldest standing building in Utah.

On the way back our GPS got us lost trying to find a Cracker Barrel.  We finally found it on our own and had a nice dinner.  We spent the rest of our evening visiting with the Steven's, our hosts, (which we didn't take a picture of).  They were so good to us.  Wish we could have stayed longer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mormonville - Day 4

We should consider
righteous things
we can do
on the Sabbath.

September 9th
For our Temple Square visit we rendezvoused
with my brother, Adam and his wife Sally.

In the Tabernacle

We couldn't go to Salt Lake City and not hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  It was Sunday so we heard them perform for the morning broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.  It was great to be there.

Another building on Temple Square - the Assembly Hall.
Me and Lisa pictured next to a beautiful side door.

Happily, Sister Ariel Ibarra (from our stake)
and her companion were our tour guides.

Our foursome by the Salt Lake Temple.

Saying our good-byes and wrapping up our whirlwind tour.
Lisa, I, and our tour guides.

Then we were off to Holladay to spend the day with Adam, Sally, Michael, and Emma.  A great meal and great company.  It was a wonderful Sabbath day!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mormonville - Day 3

After spending the night in Provo we headed up the canyon to Sundance. We walked around the facility and then took a ride on the ski lift.

Lisa with our helpful ski lift operator.

In the air and then off to Salt Lake City.

“How grateful I am for the gospel
and for the assurance
that even friendships are eternal." 

Marjorie Pay Hinckley

After a long browsing session in the
Church Museum of History and Art
we ate at the Lion House, one of Brigham Young's homes.

Lisa happily full from her meal.

After our meal, we went right next door to
the Beehive House for a tour -
another one of Brigham Young's homes.

Me out front

This archway is right next to the Beehive House.
Once the gateway to the city.

In the Joseph Smith Memorial Building,
originally the Hotel Utah.

We went up to the Roof Restaurant in the
Joseph Smith Memorial Building to take this picture of the
Salt Lake Temple.

Lisa - all about animals,
would have loved a carriage ride,
but had to settle for petting the horse and a photo.

More horsey

After a little shopping spree at Deseret Book we were off to the Steven's house.  They graciously hosted us for most of our stay.