Monday, June 29, 2015

  Our week began with a home teaching visit to our friends, the Olson’s. I had recently been reading in the June Ensign and found the story about a hummingbird rescue. It recounted an event where, at a Young Women camp in California the girls had found a hummingbird. It had flown into the lodge and couldn’t find a way out. It had collapsed on the floor, under a table; and the girls asked for help in rescuing the little bird which had its beak wrapped with cobwebs and its feathers all askew; and it was starving. After some careful help in feeding the bird some sugar water and brushing the cobwebs from its beak, the little bird gained strength, took to its wings and flew away. The author pointed out that sometimes each of us find our lives tangled in cobwebs of sin or addiction and we need help to get free. We all have need of enduring with faith the challenges of life. The Lord is aware of all of us. If we hang on and accept the help available to us, we can deal with our circumstances. Just one more indication of how much the Lord watches over us.
 We have had some wonderful meals and lessons with members in the 13th ward this week. Wednesday was the final transfer of the Ogden mission. We are now officially the Logan mission, the new mission presidents will be moving into their new areas today and on Wednesday this week, we will have a meet and greet with our new president, his wife and probably his new counselors. 
 Our new zone met together this past week and it was mostly a get acquainted meeting. We have one new zone leader and a new district leader who will be working with his companion in the Hyrum Stake. Our sisters were not changed and they will just be covering our stake, however, they will do it without a car. They will be depending a good deal on our members for transportation. We understand that Church leadership has reduced the number of automobiles across the world by about fifty percent; that will be a large savings to the Church. We are working with our stake family history directors on a Discovery Day for the fall of the year. We held an organization meeting this week to make some plans for that to happen. 
 Here is another tender mercy from the Lord that happened this week. We had looked over some of our previous visits and made a determination to make some follow up visits to some families. We arrived at what we thought was an address of a family we had visited. As the brother answered the door, we realized we had never met him before but he introduced himself and invited us in. He asked his wife to join us and we had a wonderful visit. They are part of a well known family in the community; they both in their 80's. They said they had not had missionaries in their home for over thirty years. We shared a message and left feeling very good about our visit. We were able to find four families home that afternoon.
Our final visit was to a sister we had met a few months ago. She had been on vacation and returned home feeling poorly. She went to the hospital and ended up being there for several days; in the process had been given two units of blood. Thankfully she was feeling better the day we visited.
 We went out early in the afternoon to try to beat the heat and then came home and went to the temple. It was a small session for a Friday evening but one we thoroughly enjoyed. As we exited the temple we visited with one of our bishops and his family who were there enjoying the beauties of the temple grounds.
 Saturday was the first real sick day we have taken while serving. I have been taking a large dose of medication to try to increase my potassium level. I was feeling so poorly that we asked my friend to come give me a blessing. He has a similar challenge and suggested that I drink a lot of water and reduce my potassium pills. I was concerned because my blood pressure was higher than normal as well as feeling poorly. 
I'm sure the blessing worked wonders because on Sunday we started the day with a six a m stake council meeting about "Making the Sabbath Day a Delight" in the home as well as at Church.
We attended two sacrament meetings; went home teaching to one family, attended our missionary/mission leader correlation meeting; a stake baptismal preview and then ended the night meeting and greeting people at our Hyrum Fourth of July Patriotic Program held each year at this time in the City Square. Our speaker was the Attorney General for Utah, Sean Reyes. He gave a wonderful talk about maintaining our work ethic, moral values,faith and prayer.

Monday, June 22, 2015

  Another good week, we have now just eight months left in this calling. It is going quickly and will be here before we know it. With the mission split July 1 and transfers this week, there will be a lot of new things to get used to. It will be interesting to see where the missionaries are assigned this week and there are quite a few new missionaries reporting.
 We have had some good visits this week, Maybe because we are entering the "older" time in life, we enjoy visiting with people who usually don't have a lot of contact with people outside of their family. Some of them are rather lonely, especially when a spouse has died and family are not living close.
 We had a send off meeting with Pres. and Sis Heirs on Wednesday morning. They and the counselors and wives gave their talks and testimonies. It was a special occasion for all of us. We will miss their leadership and are looking forward to meeting our new mission president. Prior to the general meeting, we had a senior couple training that was very enjoyable, Pres. and Sis Heirs came in and talked to us for a short time.
 On Wednesday we had three generations of one family in the stake center family history center. There were two parents, their daughter, and a granddaughter. They were all doing a different phase of  family history and we were quite busy for a couple of hours trying to answer questions and help them find information.
  One sister we finally were able to meet with has had some health problems, including an operation. She doesn't get out very much and really appreciated our visit. Another Sister is over ninety and lost her husband several years ago. She lives in her home with a son who takes care of her. She is a neat lady. Another sister in the same ward has had some health challenges as well as the deaths of several family members, including her husband over the past few years. We felt very good about our visit. She is very much into family history and that brings her some opportunity to keep busy and feel somewhat connected to her family and gives her good feelings.
 Friday we ended up taking the sisters to Farr West for an exchange. We had some business at the mission office so we stopped there for the last time. We found out from the staff there where our new mission office will be in Logan. That will be exciting to not have to go to Ogden so often. However, the southern boundary of the Logan Mission will go to 17th Street in Ogden.
 When we returned to Hyrum, we attended a barbecue for the single adults in our Stake. They had a nice attendance. Ruth and I went with committee members to make invitations so it was fun to see those people and others at the event. They had a nice meal and a fair turnout.
 Saturday was a family day. We had Kaylene, Ron, TeTe and Hallie come to the house for barbecued hamburgers for lunch time. Hallie and TeTe have four of Te Te's sister's children staying with them so it was a fun time. We purchased a canopy toward the end of last summer so we were able to get some use out of that during this time outside. It was a little tricky to get into place, but with some help of a neighbor girl, we got it figured out.
We then went to Salt Lake for a wedding reception. My sister Lavon's granddaughter was married earlier in the day in the Manti Temple. The reception was nice and Lavon, Nick, Elizabeth and I were able to attend. Since we didn't stay too late, we took the opportunity to stop by and see Ruth's sister Catherine and talk with her and her husband about their recently completed mission; they served the same kind of mission we are serving.
  Sunday was a day of meetings and phone calls. We attended the fourteenth ward for a returning missionary report and then we attended all of the meetings in our ward. We also had a young man who recently returned from his mission in Pennsylvania. Both meetings included some nice tributes to Fathers.
In the course of the day, I found out that a neighbor was quite ill and we decided to go make a visit. He is the father of a former neighbor of ours. He had a stroke about ten years ago which left his left side paralyzed. During warm weather, he would use his walker for support and take a walk around the neighborhood. We hadn't seen him for a while so we wondered about him. We had a good visit, at first he said he was dealing with some things but was keeping it to himself. As we visited with us he told us he had been diagnosed with stage four cancer in his right hip and was in hospice care. He has a pretty negative attitude about some things but he thanked us for our visit and for being his friend.

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; … the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” 35
This quotation came to me very strongly as I thought about our stake conference yesterday. There were wonderful talks and discussions about enriching our Sabbath day observance and the importance of the sacrament. This work is progressing and we are feeling the weight of hastening the work of the Lord. We have some days that seem to be more productive than others, but we are feeling the press of time. We have just over nine months left on our calling and we have many things to do. Shortly there will be some changes in our mission because the new mission president will be here in just over two weeks. Transfers are coming in just ten days and those transfers will determine which mission our young missionaries will serve for the balance of their times in the field.
Last Monday we attended our son-in-law; Ron Jensen's fathers funeral in Clifton, Idaho. Henry Jensen was a good man and he and his wife had seven children, all about a year apart. The children were raised in the Gospel and are good and thoughtful people. All of the children and a couple of grandchildren took part in the services. It was a fitting tribute to a good, hard working, gentleman farmer who died while saying his prayers in a facility in Preston.
We had one of those memorable visits when we returned from the funeral. We called a sister who is nearly ninety years old. We asked her when a good time would be to come and visit her, she said, "right now." So we drove over and she talked to us how much she loved the Lord and her family. Then she said how much she appreciates the young men who deliver the sacrament to her each Sunday. The last Sunday she told us how one boy rode his bike as he balanced the sacrament trays. She doesn't feel like she has done all she needs to do in life but we assured her that taking care of her family was of utmost importance, What a sweet spirit we felt as we visited with this dear sister!
After dinner we had a great time teaching family history to a young family with four children in our own ward.
On Wed we had a visit scheduled and we wondered about the children. They had a son 18 and one four. How we enjoyed that visit! The older boy has his mission call to the Philippines, and will be leaving in about a month. The younger boy was inquisitive and bright. We had a great time talking about how family history can be an asset in missionary work and talked with the family about some ideas on researching and finding stories about their family.
Thursday we drove to Pleasant View to pick up Sis Frazier from an exchange, then later had a great dinner with a family that we had shared a dinner with about a year ago. It was a fun visit, the children were excited about discovering family information and see how they had matured. Their mother is the Primary president and their father is on our high council.
After dinner we split up and went with counterparts in the stake single adult committee. We brethren made several visits but found only one person at home. Ruth went with the sisters and they found four people home and invited them to a barbecue coming up next week.
 Friday we spent a lot of the day working at home. Ruth had tried to download some video for our visits on her computer. She downloaded one item that brought an avalanche of garbage with it and basically crashed her computer when she tried to clean it off. With some help from our son-in-law Sid, we have pretty much gotten things back to normal. When we called to verify our dinner for the evening, the sister said, "This will be your favorite meal." When we arrived she had prepared a meal of burgers and salad. The burgers were from a recipe of her grandmothers called apple burgers. The patties are made of hamburger and sausage. Then topped with fried bacon strips, apple slices, Dijon mustard mixed with honey and served on a thin bun like a pita pocket. Wow, what a meal! The three children were a delight and excited for the booklets and coloring pages we left with them.
Saturday we spent a lot of the day on the road. We were on our way to Eureka to a memorial for our sister-in-law, Carole Ann Castleton who died last week. We couldn't go past Eagle Mountain without seeing our grandchildren. Keith was working and some of the children were busy with other activities. We had a good visit anyway and then headed out for Eureka. It was good to see the four children and their families. They put on a nice meal and some good memories were remembered during the memorial. The family had good support from people in the community. It was good to be there to support the family. Gloria and Royal were in Italy on vacation, Elizabeth and Harold were in Washington with family so that left Chuck, Lavon and George to represent the family. Of course Nick was there with his children.
 Sunday was our stake conference. Priesthood leadership meeting was a different format. Several brethren were given scripture references when they arrived at the meeting and asked to lead a discussion on the topic of the scripture. We had a discussion on the importance of the sacrament and the atonement of Christ, the importance of fasting and prayer, how the Sabbath day can be a delight, obedience.
Our general session was held in three different buildings including the stake center. The topics were changing our hearts, fasting and prayer, following our Savior, and Keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
Following a delightful dinner with a member family with four wonderful children we attended a musical fireside presented by our young elders and sisters. They had asked several recent converts to bear their testimonies and they were wonderful. What a full day but a wonderful day.

Monday, June 8, 2015

  We have had a great week. Our sisters needed a fair amount of help and we are always happy to provide assistance to them. We have had some great visits with members, some active and some not so active. The neat thing about teaching family history is that everyone has an interest in their families and what has occurred as well as what is happening now. Some are interested in doing some research and finding opportunities to do temple work for their families and some are not quite in that position. Nevertheless, we try teach them to the level of their current interests.
 Our District meeting this week focused on our testimonies. We had a spiritual time sharing testimonies in differing circumstances and trying to invite the spirit into each situation.
We stopped in the afternoon to talk to a sister who struggles to get to church meetings. She said she felt like she had a good relationship with the Savior and didn't always feel a need to go to meetings.
After we got home, we talked about her attitude and the next morning I sent her a text telling her that the most important reason to go to church on Sunday was to partake of the Sacrament. I was sad that I didn't think of that while we were in her home.
One of our ward mission leaders had arranged to have us go on visits with him on Wed. night. We dropped in to three families and found two of them available for visits. Our first visit was to a Primary teacher in the ward. Her husband is active in scouting and we went with the idea of talking with her husband about the next ordinance for him. He does not hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and so hasn't been able to take his wife to the temple. He was at Weblo scouts making rockets however. But we had a great visit with the sister. She was out four wheeling about three weeks ago and had an accident where she was thrown off the machine and really did a job on her right wrist. She has had some surgery and may have to have more but she seems to be recovering. She had knee replacement surgery a few years ago and was so happy that her knee was not injured. She told about the wonderful feeling of comfort she received following the accident and was so grateful for that power of the Holy Ghost she felt. She is sad because she has to make sure her arm and wrist are not re injured and so she is unable to teach her Primary class. It was an unfortunate accident but a testimony builder for both of them.
The second visit was to a lady that has some health challenges. She claimed that Sunday is a family day. Her family usually gets together so she doesn't want to leave them to go to meetings. The ward mission leader picked up on that right away and explained the importance of attending meetings to have the opportunity to partake of the sacrament.
  We had some good visits on Thursday. We visited two active families and left messages. One fellow lost his wife about five years ago. Even though he was surprised with our visit, we could tell he enjoyed having someone stop in and visit him. He is obviously lonely, event though he stays busy and is active in the church. We went to see a mother and daughter and found no one home but the neighbor recognized us and came right over and told us the mother had been admitted to a Salt Lake hospital for some medical problems and would be gone for a while.
We then went to our stake family history center and met with a mother and daughter by appointment. The daughter found some good information. I was trying to help the mother on her family line but I am not as good a helper as I would like to be. However, we found some information that changed here attitude from "I really don't enjoy this" to "That's great, let's try it again next week."
   We spent a goodly amount of time on Friday preparing our Sunday missionary class and helping the sisters. One visit was to a boy, Coltan in our ward who is getting baptized on Saturday.We are excited, the boy is eleven and his mother is showing a lot of interest, the father; not so much. Anyway, the baptism was wonderful and the mother even bore her testimony and also invited us to come and help here do some family history research.
  Following the baptism we attended a birthday party with a fellow and his family that used to be neighbors. It is a family we became close with. They invited us to a temple session but we missed that to attend the baptism. We did go for a barbecue luncheon. Last year I think we went to three sealing sessions in a row when this couple was in the same room with us. We really think highly of them. Shawn is crafty and made some silver looking sunflower pins or tie tacks. The message attached is a sunflower always follows the sun, and we should always follow the Son.
 Sunday was what has become a normal Sunday lately. We started off early with a missionary meeting with the stake presidency, we then went to a sacrament meeting, and then we went to our own ward where Coltan was confirmed. We also had two baby blessings. The building was packed, nearly 300 people in attendance. Unfortunately, about sixty percent were ward members, the others were visitors. The Stake President attended and he was impressed. We had a wonderful opportunity to stay for the whole block in our ward. We stopped at the house, grabbed a bite to eat and then went to our missionary correlation meeting then on to our final member missionary class. We had a wonderful turnout again and had some wonderful participation in discussions about how we could be missionaries and how we could use family history, visiting teaching, and home teaching as tools of invitation and activation. After our class we had our sisters at the house for a weekly correlation meeting because they have interviews with the mission president on Monday.
  We feel ever so strongly about the importance of our work. We sometimes run a little short of energy by the end of the week but the Lord is good to us and gives us strength and stamina that helps us meet the next day with desire to do the work.

Monday, June 1, 2015

  This was a different week but we did get some things done with missionary work. Tuesday we took our sister missionaries on a little adventure. We stopped at Apple Spice for lunch, then stopped at the pajama factory, then on to Pepperidge Farms for goodies, and finally to Casper's for ice cream.
We then went to our granddaughter Hallie Ler's high school graduation. She has worked hard to accomplish that goal this past year. We are proud of her for her dedication and persistence.
  Wednesday as usual was District Meeting and then Ruth took one of our sisters to Pleasant View on exchanges, and brought back another sister to work here.
  Thursday was another happy time. Our granddaughter Collette had an award assembly at Fast Forward. She had perfect attendance and a 4.0 for the year for which she was rewarded and recognized. She really enjoys her experience there. She really struggled before in school, but now she is really making things happen in a good way for herself . Through her counselor, she has already had some inquiries about colleges that she may be interested in attending. Ruth helped a sister scan some things into Family Search, she has met with her a few times now and is making some progress. We had a nice visit and dinner with one of our Relief Society presidents and her girls. They are delightful. This sister was born and raised in the Santaquin area and we had a good time talking about people we know or knew. We had an appointment with a member family in a neighboring ward. They had forgotten about the appointment but we were met by their two year old son who acted like a long lost friend. We were welcomed and had a great discussion about family history.
Friday we spent time fine tuning our Every Member a Missionary class material, then met with our sisters at our stake family history center. One of our sisters really wanted to learn how to do research so we spent some time showing them Family Search. One sister caught on quickly and went to her tree and found some names that needed temple ordinances. She was really thrilled. The other sister found some family connections but there were not many records available for the  area she needed.
 We made a couple more visits then our dinner appointment turned out to be at McDonald's because the sister had forgotten the appointment. We then visited a couple that has previously served a senior couple mission and was very happy to discuss several aspects of missionary work.
  Saturday we went to the temple with a sister who just recently joined the church.She is committed to getting to the temple as often as possible and we are happy to encourage that for her.
In the afternoon we attended a birthday party for a little neighbor boy who turned one. We taught his parents the Temple Preparation class. It was a fun party and he was very excited.
Then we stopped in and visited with a less active brother who was kind of cool to our first visit but he really opened up and told us he had served a mission in Argentina. He has recently found some of his companions on Facebook and had talked to the Weblos leader about his nine year old going to scouts and maybe becoming interested in being baptized.
  This was a sad day in the Church and our family. Elder Perry of the Council of Twelve Apostles passed away after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer recently. His cancer was very aggressive and took him quickly. He will be sorely missed because of his upbeat attitude and wonderful stories
Later in the evening, our sister-in-law Carole Castleton passed away in Lehi. He had been sick and in a nursing facility for quite a while but we didn't know her condition was terminal. Fortunately her children were all able to be there and spend some time with her in her final day. We will all miss her.
 Our big day was Sunday. We began the day in a stake council meeting at 6:00 am. The presidency is trying to focus on the things that matter most and we had a great discussion of what that focus should be. There was a wonderful spirit there and the agenda for upcoming stake conference took shape during that time. We had agreed to speak at the 10th Ward sacrament meeting about family history and temple work. It seemed like our talks went well, we are always happy to see the friends that we have made in that ward. We had a break and then in the afternoon we taught a fifth Sunday lesson to the combined priesthood and relief society in the 13th ward. We followed that with a wonderful visit with a less active family in the 14th ward. We had a great discussion about their family's history and presented them with My Family Books and some challenges to look into some of their family tree and see what has been entered.
Following our correlation meeting with ward mission leaders, we held our first Member Missionary class in the building where our home ward is located. We had great a great attendance of about forty people including our stake president and most of his family. The class seemed to go well and we are looking forward to our second class next Sunday.