Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Up With All These Dates?

Jim called me earlier and asked me to go to lunch with him AGAIN. We went yesterday too. Last week he invited me to go to the movies with him in the middle of the day.

Whatever is going on...
 I like it.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blessings All Around

As the years pass, contemplation of a lifetime of accumulated blessings causes me to be humbled by God's infinite capacity to bless. Here are just a few recently noted:

Jim and I attended the scholarship
 awards ceremony this morning at Seth's school. 
Seth received a $5,000 scholarship to attend BYU in the fall. 
That is added to the $500 one he received two weeks ago.
His good friend and our neighbor Kristina
 also won the other $5,000 scholarship to BYU.
 Great blessings for both our families.
Sarah was here the other day with Nathan and Gregory.
Her pregnancy is progressing well.
We're looking forward to little Hannah in July.
Gregory has placed in the top 20% 
of his BYU law school class this semester.
Good for him. Congratulations Gregory.
Our healthy, delightful grandson Nathan is growing well.
He likes to play in my dirt so I decided not 
to plant deck flowers this year.

Ian e-mailed today while I was gone. He sounds so good. I am so grateful for the blessings of missions. It is impossible to describe the great blessings that come because of missionary service. God is kind, wise, and very loving to offer the blessings of missionary service to those who desire it. Read on...

"Dear Family,                                                                                          May 30, 2012

As you are probably starting to see, the day that I write my e-mail probably won’t be so consistent for the next two transfers. Yesterday was transfers and we spent a big part of the day with the new missionaries. We went and got them at the airport at 7:30 in the morning and then we went to the mission home. We had breakfast, gave trainings, ate lunch and the new missionaries got assigned to their new areas and they met their new companions. It was a great experience. I got to translate for the new missionaries and I noticed that my English is getting quite a bit worse. It is a good thing that I don’t have to take an English class after the mission, I am pretty sure that I would fail horribly. 

...we spent this last week in Bauru (a city in São Paulo that is close to the last city that I was working in) doing exchanges with the missionaries....We baptized a girl their that was part of a family that my companion had baptized when he worked there as a zone leader but didn’t live with them at the time, now the just the father needs to get baptized to complete the family. When I got called as assistant, I was really worried about my ability to be able to do these exchanges well as they are a large part of our responsibilities as assistants but with every exchange that we do, I am feeling more and more confident that I will be able to do what the Lord wants me to do in this calling...We are working hard and we are always super busy but I am loving it. It is great that we are so busy, it helps me to stay focused. I really love the mission. 

I know with all my heart that the Church is true. I know that we have a living prophet. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that through him God restored His church to the earth. I had an interview with Pres. Tavares this week to renew my temple recommend and as he asked me if I had a testimony of various truths of the restored gospel. I was able to see a little bit just how much my testimony has grown in these past 21 months and how my testimony has deepened and been enriched. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve as a missionary. It is truly a great blessing; I am learning so much, it is so wonderful to be able to serve God’s children for this time. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that He lives, and that He loves us. 

I love you all very much."

How do you thank God for a constant stream of blessings? I guess I will just try to show my gratitude by doing what He asks of me and by trying to serve others. I am most grateful.





Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

We had a lovely day here celebrating Memorial Day. We attended the annual Memorial day breakfast at our church this morning. That's always enjoyable. We also had a barbeque this evening and invited a few guests. I'm very tired but it was as lovely a day as one could hope for. The weather was perfect.
I took this last evening in the military section of the cemetery.
 I am always touched by this site in the veterans section.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wow


My Mom sent this tonight.

What a great picture. Missionary work in all its forms is such a great blessing. She's right in the middle of this picture in the turquoise jacket. They all look so happy. Good for them. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Warms My Heart

Sorry, but I think I may have the cutest grandchild in the world.


He was looking at Sarah and Gregory's wedding invitation.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"To Bind Up (Heal) The Brokenhearted"

I love the scripture verses that go with this latest Bible video:   Bible Videos
“The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…to comfort all that mourn…give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Isaiah 61:1-3  Isaiah 61  See also Luke 4:15-30

I have read this scripture many times. It is always comforting to me. It rings of truth, hope, blessings, kindness, and love. The Savior has done these things for me. I've been "brokenhearted" more times than I can count and He has healed my heart every time. I've been held captive by the consequences of a few poor choices in my life. I've been bound in "prisons" of my own making from one thing or another many times over such as holding a grudge or being unwilling to forgive someone quickly when forgiving offers such peace. I've needed comfort many times and in many ways for many reasons. Where there have been ashes because of terrible, terrible events in my life and in the lives of my loved ones, the Lord has replaced them with unspeakable beauty. I have been the beneficiary of the "oil of joy" on countless occasions and because of the Lord's atonement, He has lifted my "spirit of heaviness" time and time again.

Jesus Christ declared His Messiahship. I also declare that He is who He said He is... our Lord and Savior...and beside Him "there is none else." Isaiah 45:6.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last Concert

I attended Seth's last high school concert Tuesday evening.
I have to say, it was one of the best ones I ever remember.
This is Seth's A'capella & Chorale teacher.
She taught all my children how to sing.
She's been a blessing to all of them.
Gratefully, God provided someone 
to bless their lives in a way I couldn't.
With all of the singing groups all these years...
came the delight of getting to know the friends that also sang.
These five are all from our stake and neighborhood.
Alex, Nels, and Seth.
Alex is an amazing singer.
Nels isn't a singer but he's been a great support.
Kristina is also one of Seth's good friends.
Good job Seth.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spontaneous Date

So my good but very busy husband is very predictable. He works long hours. He's a busy Bishop. He doesn't get much spare time and when he does, he's preoccupied a lot because he's just at a very busy stage in his life right now.

A few minutes before 4:00 this afternoon, I got an e-mail from him asking me if I wanted to go to a 4:30 movie. That never happens. I said, "sure." I didn't know what we were going to see or why. It turns out he had a bad day at work and needed a break. That also never happens. So we went and saw The Avengers. I had no idea what it was about. It was an afternoon movie. We had a great time. The movie was great and we also went to dinner afterwards. Lucky me.

Of course I dropped him off at work a little while ago on the way back but I'll take whatever I can get.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Busy, Happy, Working Hard

Ian's e-mails have suddenly got very long these days. That's great because he actually mentions things that he hasn't had time to mention in a long time. I'll post some but as always, I try to be respectful of personal names and things that should remain off a public blog.


"Dear Family,                                                                           

We had a great week this week in Maringá. Mom was asking about what divisions are. I guess it would be the same thing as exchanges, it is just where we work with other missionaries instead of our companions. Once a transfer, the District Leader should go on exchanges with every elder in his district. The Zone Leaders should go on exchanges with the District Leaders and every once and awhile, because it just wouldn’t be practical every transfer, the Assistants go on exchanges with the Zone Leader and many times with other missionaries....every week we decide with [our mission president] what zone has the greatest need and we go and spend usually almost the entire week there (Wed.-Sun.)  We don’t go to another zone every week, but about 50%-70% of the time..this week we went to Maringá which is one of the smaller zones...We had a lot of interesting experiences. I got to go back to one of my old areas Parque Dos Pioneiros, which is the area in which I stayed the most time. I saw some of my recent converts there and a lot of the members, it was really cool to be able to see everyone again...

This week we will be going to Bauru, which is in São Paulo and is about 1 hour away from where I was last serving (Marília). One of my former companions is a Zone Leader there and the other Zone Leader...was one the elders that I lived with for 3 months in Maringá. We are super excited for this division... We are also excited because we have some people to be baptized in our area here in Londrina....

I know that this church is true, I know that Christ lives and that He loves us. This is His church. I know that we have a living prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. 

I love you all a whole heck of a lot."

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Birthday Elisa!!!

28 years ago today, I had the great blessing of giving birth to an absolutely beautiful baby girl. She had beautiful dark, curly hair. She had beautiful skin. She seemed liked an amazing bundle of heavenly perfection.

She grew up to be an amazing young woman and is now a beautiful and amazing woman. This is the picture I just captured while Google chatting with her for her birthday!

Happy Birthday Elisa!!!!! We all love you!!!!!


Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Son The Missionary, My Mother The Missionary

My Mom sent this picture by e-mail today. She's having a wonderful mission. Good for her. Blessings all around.


Friday, May 18, 2012

She's Multi-talented

About a month ago I went to Sarah's house. She had a hand soap that was fabulous. I asked her about it and she said she made it herself. I told her it would be a great Mother's Day present. So for Mother's Day she presented me with two quart jars of homemade liquid Dove hand soap. She apparently melted down bars of Dove soap with water and made a lovely concoction. It takes patience to do something like that. Fabulous stuff. This morning she said she gave Nathan a haircut.

Like I said...she's multi-talented. :)
I guess Nathan has his mother's talents because 
he somehow snapped this picture (with help I think).  :)



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seth Again

Seth likes to sing.
Tuesday night we went to his last A'capella concert.
It was very good.
One more concert to go next week for his other group-Chorale.
These are a few of his closest friends.
He has a wonderful voice
and is a wonderful person.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Singers?

While we were waiting for Ian to call on Sunday, I tried to figure out the video player on my  7 inch tablet. This was the result. :) I love the end. My family is usually very good about cooperating for picture/blog requests. Now they have to put up with video requests too. Pretty funny stuff.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Fabulous Mother's Day!

I just can't put into words how wonderful Mother's Day was yesterday. The weather was fantastic, spending the day with my family was so wonderful, and the highlight of the day of course was getting to talk to Ian.
We had an awful lot of computer issues because of a bad microphone that left me scrambling for about an hour after I got home from church. When I finally resolved it I thought I'd take a few minutes nap before Ian called an hour later. No sooner did I close my eyes, he called an hour early!! Seth was napping, Jim wasn't home from church yet and it was a bit crazy so he decided to hang up and said he'd call back in a half hour later when Jim got home from doing his Bishop stuff. I frantically called Jim, he got home and we waited for another half hour!! FINALLY, the SKYPE call came through and even though the call dropped 3 or 4 times, we eventually got it back and we had a wonderful 40 minute conversation.
This is a bad screen shot but I have to say, Ian looks amazing. He was SO happy to talk to us as we were to talk to him!
He called from his mission president's home. We were able to SKYPE with his mission president who seems like a very wonderful, caring, and friendly man. He then went and found his wife who was in the kitchen making phone calls and making pizzas for the missionaries. She seems like a wonderful woman. She spoke Portuguese and we spoke English but Ian translated. She said over and over and over again "obrigado, obrigado, obrigado, obrigado, obrigado." That means "thank you" in Portuguese. Ian translated that she also said, "Thank you for sending us such a wonderful, prepared missionary." She seems like she is a wonderful woman.
We talked...
and talked...
and talked some more until 
it was time to say good bye.
Ian asked if we could all say a prayer before we hung up. Jim said the prayer and I opened my eyes to see that Ian bowed his head as Jim was praying. I couldn't help but reach out to touch my son's shoulder as we were praying, it was as close as I could get to him even if it was just a computer screen. Elisa apparently snapped a picture of me.

Ian sounds completely committed to finishing out his mission working hard. He's happy, he's healthy and he's a servant of the Lord. I will be happy to see him again but I know how hard it will be for him to leave his mission when his time comes to say good bye.

We had a wonderful Mother's Day dinner
 out on the back patio later on.
We had fabulous grilled salmon and 
a wonderful butternut squash risotto dish that Gregory made.
 Wade washed all my dishes for me. 
Two good son-in-laws. :) 
Emma made everyone happy just
by being so happy herself.
She asked what I wanted for Mother's day 
and I told her "time with Dad."
She gave me a movie gift certificate
and a welcome sign.
Very thoughtful.
Elisa spent a lot of time in the kitchen making food and preparing everything. She and Gregory were amazing. Gregory was in the kitchen for two hours preparing I think. He said he had a wonderful time. I finally napped on the couch for a few minutes while they were all in the kitchen fixing dinner. It was wonderful to nap while food was being prepared. It smelled so good. I never get to do that.
Gregory also always has very interesting stories to tell.
Nathan just loves the yard. A future soccer player maybe?
Elisa is a good aunt.
Seth was a bit tired from Senior Ball but we all had a good time.

Wade and Emma finally left about 10:20 as I spontaneously started to fall asleep. It was as lovely a Mother's Day as I can remember. Elisa, Sarah, and Emma were talking about how they would remember me in years to come. I said that all I wanted them to remember was that I loved them, I wanted them to feel my love for them, and I wanted them to be happy.

Happy day.
Happy me.

Thanks everyone. :)



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Senior Ball

Tonight was Seth's Senior Ball.
It was also the night of a scholarship dinner.
Four of the ten people in Seth's 
dance group received scholarships.
Consequently, they took the rest 
of the group to the dinner too...
as well as six of the parents.
Nothing like dragging your parents along to your Senior Ball. :)
We sat at a different table because
it was conveniently only "10" to a table.
This was Seth's date.
She's a lovely young woman.
There was a motivational speaker who spoke
 at the end of the dinner.
Seth somehow wound up on the stage
because she needed someone with a dollar bill..
She did a magic trick with Seth's dollar bill.
She set it on fire and somehow later fished
 it out of an orange she cut up.
It was a pretty good trick.

So much for Senior Ball with the parents
but we are very grateful for the scholarship.
Congratulations Seth!