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Monday, July 21, 2014

Message From A Missionary

Seth sent a letter to me to share with the Young Men in our ward. I will share a portion of it here because it tells about the joy of missionary work better than I ever could.

"Dear Friends,

I have wanted to write all of you for a while now, but it is hard to find time on my mission...I just want to let you all know how much I love all of you and miss all of you...I hope school is going well and that you are staying strong. I hope the summer is going well and that you are staying busy and having fun. Priests, don't forget the challenge that Brother Evans gave us to read and pray everyday. :)

I just wanted to let all of you know how much my mission has meant to me in my life. The decision to serve a mission has been the best decision I have ever made. It have had so many of experiences that have changed my life. I have felt so much joy. I have been able to have so many wonderful relationships with our investigators, the members and with the other missionaries. I will cherish these relationships for the rest of my life.

I have felt my mission change me every day. I have come to know my Savior so much better. My testimony has grown so much. I also feel that I have become more converted (when I think of conversion, I think of consistently being true to my testimony). It is such a rare opportunity to be completely devoted to the Lord...there are no experiences that compare. I feel so close to Heavenly Father and so confident that He is mindful of us and willing to help us....missions are hard, but I want to let you know that the hard times are a blessing. They are opportunities to grow faster than we normally would. We know that the pioneers came to know Christ in their extremity, and this is also true for the mission. You will have to rely on Him in a powerful way that will strengthen your relationship with Him for the rest of your matter where we are now, the mission will help us become who Heavenly Father needs us to become. I have felt the greatest joy I have ever felt in my whole life as I have tried to lose myself in serving God's children... I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to will change your lives. It has changed my life.

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know He is real. I know that He has a perfect love for us. I know He sent His Son to suffer and die for us. I know that this is truly His church! I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and is God's word, and that a man will get closer to God by abiding its precepts than by any other book. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and truly restored the lost parts of Christ's church and gospel. I know that God guides us by a prophet of God today, President Thomas S. Monson.

Elder Freeman"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"I Love Being A Missionary"

Seth ended his email home this week with  two very tender statements. He said, " I love being a missionary... It is the best time of my whole life. :) "
I remember the feelings of loving my mission and loving being a missionary. He's in the middle portion of his mission where he is lost in his missionary labors. It won't be until he is released next year when the full impact of his mission will hit him when he feels the release so powerfully. There is a definite difference.
These are pictures of Seth and his zone and his area with his new mission president and his wife. Seth looks very good. He looks very happy. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

31 Years Next Week

Elisa took this yesterday.
31 years is a long time.
I still like him. :)
 Because of our marriage here,
eternity looks wonderful to me.
An eternal family begins in the temple.

Marriage for eternity
Why temples?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Catching Up

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and I am behind in blogging so here goes:
 I visited Ian and Jessa in Connecticut for a week.
We had a fabulous time together.
I LOVE Connecticut.
We went to Newport, Rhode Island on a drive.
It's one of my favorite places.
They loved it too.
We went to a beach near where they are staying that evening
watched a fabulous sunset
and enjoyed an amazing fireworks show on the lake!
It was one of the best I have ever seen.
It was so much fun.
The next day, we visited the site of the
 Hartford, Connecticut Temple in Farmington.
The steel frame is up and I love the way it sits on the temple lot.
We went to West Haven Beach...
 perhaps one of my most favorite places of all.
My sister Sue and her husband Bruce met us for dinner.
My niece Amber was also with us.
We had a GREAT time.
The next day I met Sue again.
 We actually had lunch at our brother Rob's grave.
 It was tender for sure because we both miss him so much.
A severe weather alert grounded my flight for almost 8 hours.
And I wound up sleeping overnight in an airport. I kept telling myself it was better than camping. That helped. That was an experience to say the least, and I was happy to finally get home!
I came home to a beautiful yard!
There were blooming daisies
brown-eyed Susans
and purple cone flowers.
So pretty!
I made it home in time for Hannah's birthday...
and Nathan's...
their birthdays are five days apart.
A joint party was in order...
and they were thrilled.
Other Grandma Connie and Grandpa Yogi came.
Both Grandpa's share a birthday ten years apart.
Connie misses her Hannah and Nathan 
a lot because she lives in Canada.
Gregory brought in a nice surprise for Nathan.
Not sure what to say about this one. :)
He's growing up so fast.
They both are.

It was a great trip. I drove close to 800 miles. I love driving in Connecticut. It is one of my all time favorite places. I also went over to New York to do some genealogy research. I am waiting on a bunch of certificates to see what I may have found. It was wonderful to see Ian and Jessa doing so well and wonderful to visit with my sister. I feel blessed in so many ways and as always, am very grateful.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bella You Grandma

My Mom wrote a Family History story about her Italian grandmother and posted it on FamilySearch last week. I told her I didn't know much about her grandmother. One of the things she said was that she knew her grandmother loved her because when she would see her, she would take her face in her hands and say, "Bella Mia Angelina." Bella Mia means "My Beautiful" in Italian.

When Hannah came on Sunday, I did the same thing and said, "Bella Mia Hannah." She was a little distraught and said several times, "I can't hear you Grandma." What she really meant was "This is aggravating Grandma because I have no clue what you are saying.
  I told her it meant she was my beautiful Hannah.

This afternoon I went to visit Hannah and Nathan and Sarah. I did the same thing and said, "Bella Mia Hannah." She giggled a little, covered hers ears, and said three times, "I can't hear you Grandma."

Later as I was getting ready to leave, I said it again. That time she said softly, "Bella You Grandma." She said it so softly that Sarah had to repeat back what she said, so I said it to her again..."Bella Mia Hannah." She hugged me and Said, "Bella You Grandma." Then she said, "sweet" in a very gentle and loving way.

She thought she could understand the "Mia" part interpreting it to mean "Me." She understood after a while that it was a term of endearment meaning I loved her so she answered back as best she could, "Bella You Grandma." That would be a mix of Italian and English an almost two year old made up meaning "You are my beautiful Grandma, I feel your love and I love you too."
I'll take that. :)
Hannah just waking up from a nap.

 All from a little Family History story.
 Love it. 
 My great Grandmother Louise (Luigia),
my Mom's Grandma.
My Mom as a girl.
Me and my Italian grandmother (Nanny).
My beautiful Hannah carrying on the tradition. :)
Sarah and Hannah.
Four generations:
L-R Bottom: My Mom, my Grandma (her Mom), Me
Back row: Sarah, Elisa, Emma. October 2000.

That's a lot of Italians.:)