Monday, May 23, 2016

"Family Is The Center of Life" ~ Here's Our Posterity

We are getting really excited for our Roger and LeAnn Williams Family reunion planned for June. We have obtained special permission from our mission to attend our reunion. We can hardly wait to see all our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. There will be a total of 50 of us. We have some fun events planned. 
We believe in Eternal Families. Our loving Heavenly Father loves our families and wants to bless us. In our Preach My Gospel Guide it states the following: "Because families are ordained of God, they are the most important social unit in time and in eternity. God has established families to bring happiness to His children, allow them to learn correct principles in a loving atmosphere, and prepare them for eternal life. The home is the best place to teach, learn, and apply principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. A home established on gospel principles will be a place or refuge and safety. It will be a place where the Spirit of the Lord can abide, blessing family members with peace, joy, and happiness. Through prophets in every age, including our own, God has revealed His plan of happiness for individuals and families." I believe this to be true. This is a principle that we teach in our missionary endeavors.  
I know that there are no perfect families but that we are all a work in process. In families we learn so many of the characteristics that are needed to be successful individuals and families. The home is the place that we learn patience, tolerance, forgiveness and many other qualities but most important we learn love. 
Today I thought I would share with you pictures of all of my grandchildren and great grandchildren that we will soon see. 

                                               Our oldest son, Sean & Mary's children~
Jed, Jessica, Jacob, Dana, Gillian, Jackson, Joseph, Jonathan, Jeffery, Joshua~
Our 2nd son, Travis & Amanda's children~
Karli, Kason, Ryley, Ethan and Layton, Jessica and Haven, Austin~
Our 3rd  son, James and Amber's children~
Christian, Taylor Jo, and Averi~
Our 4th daughter, Christina & Brandon's children~
Sariah, April, Abbey, Faith and Levi~
Our 5th daughter, Jenni & Michael's children~
Alyssa, Emma, and Benjamin~
Our 6th daughter, Tiffani & Dave's children~
Michael, Sarah, Kaitlyn and William~
  Our oldest Grandson, Jed & Jessica's family~
Lilly, Jessica and Myah, Jed and Jadyn~
Our  2nd oldest Grandson, Jacob and Dana's family~
Sagan, Dana and Jacob~

Meet our precious granddaughter, Averi. 

13 years ago Averi was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called Osteopetrosis. You can read her story here. She is a remarkable child in so many way. She is blind and has Autism Spectrum Disorder - Savant syndrome. You can read about this here. She is brilliant in memory, rapid calculations and musical ability. For instance, if you give her your Birth date she can tell you the day of the year it is on. If you give her a date that is significant she can tell you what she did on that date. She can play the piano by ear and began doing this around age 3. She continues to learn well although will she will never be independent. We all love our sweet Averi. She has brought a great deal of joy into our lives. She is a very happy child and self entertaining. All of her Uncles, Aunts and Cousins love her. 
Take a moment and watch this short video of her running the 50 yard dash! She is our family miracle. 
https://www.facebook.com/amber.empeywilliams/videos/10209866526364306/  

Our missionary work has been very busy so I haven't been able to do any blogging. I have missed doing this and plan to carve more time out for this.  Love and hugs to all!

Monday, May 2, 2016

To All Women Everywhere ~ You Are A Miracle!


I belong to the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is one of the largest Women's organizations in the world. As part of this wonderful institution we as sisters watch over and serve one another and other's in need.  Our motto is "Charity Never Faileth". 
Here is one of our latest requests from our General Relief Society Presidency: "We each have the invitation as women and young women to open our eyes and our hearts to see those among us who may feel alone, afraid, or uncertain so that we are no longer strangers  (see Matthew 25:35–36Ephesians 2:19). We are invited to share our love, our confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, and our hands to strengthen others and love them as the Savior would have us do. This is not a program; it is who we are.
With our divine nature as women, we can be a light in a darkening world. We can give hope, love, and care to those around us. We are not asked to “run faster than [we have] strength” (Mosiah 4:27). Although we can work together, we are not asked to organize large efforts. Instead we are each asked to seek personal revelation about whom the Lord would have us strengthen and love as individuals and as families. The Savior invites us to participate in a personal ministry of love and to remember His words: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these . . . , ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40)."
As we are able we can do individual service to others in various ways and in many different organizations. Our sisters serve in hospitals, schools, community centers,  relief organizations, mentoring refugees and serving in many areas of our communities. We give a vast amount of service in our church in callings with young children, teenagers and adults.

In October of last year our 1st Presidency issued the following letter. Here is a portion of this letter. 
“It is with great concern and compassion that we observe the plight of the millions of people around the world who have fled their homes seeking relief from civil conflict and other hardships. Thanks to the generous help of our members, the Church is providing assistance to migrants and refugees in several countries.
“Many Church members have inquired how they can provide additional assistance. Members may contribute to the Church Humanitarian Fund using the Tithing and Other Offerings donations slip. We also invite Church units, families, and individuals to participate in local refugee relief projects, where practical.
“May the Lord bless you as you render Christlike service to those in need.”
In all things, Jesus Christ, is our example. “He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). As we increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we will be motivated to give Christ-like service, which will help us become more like Him. President Henry B. Eyring taught: “Our Heavenly Father wishes to bless His children spiritually and temporally. He understands each of their needs, their pains, and their hopes. When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him” (“Is Not This the Fast That I Have Chosen?” Ensign, April 2015).
With over 61 million refugees in the world, there are many opportunities to provide relief, mentor, and serve close to home, in our own communities as our individual circumstances allow. There is something everyone can contribute yet, one may wonder; “What difference could I possibly make?”
Begin by seeking the inspiration of the Lord individually and as families. What would He have me do to help? What time and resources do I have? What needed skills do I have? What might we do as a family?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught: “In the end you must do in your area what disciples of Christ have done in every dispensation: counsel together, use all resources available, seek the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, ask the Lord for His confirmation, and then roll up your sleeves and go to work.
"I give you a promise: if you will follow this pattern, you will receive specific guidance as to the who, what, when, and where of providing in the Lord’s way” (“Providing in the Lord’s Way,” Ensign, October 2011).
Providing in the Lord’s way gives us an opportunity to keep our covenants as we show our willingness to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; to mourn with those that mourn; and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:9). As we keep our covenants, our homes and families will be blessed."
As a church we have had humanitarian projects going on throughout the world for many years. This was a call for us look for even more ways to serve those in need. You can read about our humanitarian efforts here. 


                       
On April 16th of this year our Stake Relief Society  had a wonderful day of Service. There were approx. 250 sisters who came and put together various projects for refugees and other relief organizations. It was just amazing. I enjoyed every minute of my time there. 
On this day we put together kits for refugees throughout the world and also community organizations that are helping to reach those in need. We made approx. 1,000 Hygiene kits for women's personal needs in refugee camps. We put together basic everyday type needs such as soap, shampoos conditioners and etc. for some local needs. Quilts were made for hospitals and care centers. These are just a few of the projects that were put together that day.


There are even larger projects worked on when the sisters of the church meet for the yearly BYU Women's Conference which was recently held this past week.  Here's some news on this years event. I feel so blessed to be part of this fantastic organization.


With Mother's Day fast approaching I thought I would share some thoughts.
 We are all daughters of a Loving Heavenly Father. He knows our names. He loves us and wants us to fulfill our divine assignments as Women, Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, and Friends. As Women we have nurturing hearts and no matter whether we have children are not; we have that divine nature to care for those in need. We all can do mother like things when working with others. Even now when I am working with various families and individuals I have such strong feelings of love for them as my spiritual brothers and sisters. 
I thought I would list some beautiful messages on Women and on Being Mothers. Here are a few. 
The Role Of Righteous Women


Enjoy this following video for all of you!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Update On Our Family and Missionary Moments~

March was a very busy month for us. Our Grandson, Elder Jackson Williams came home from his mission on March 25th. He just completed a two year mission in Omaha, Nebraska. It was so fun to see him again. He has grown so much spiritually and socially. It felt so good to hug this boy of mine.
Here are some pictures from the airport - Upper Left Jackson coming down the escalator; Upper Middle, Jackson and his two brothers, Joshua and Jeff; Upper Right, Jackson and his niece, Jadyn. 
Middle Left, Jackson and Grandma; Middle Center, Dana,Jackson, his brother Jacob and Nephew Sagan; Jacob, Jackson's Mom, Mary, Jackson and Dana, his sister in law. Lower left, Joshua, Jeff, Jacob and Mary; Lower Center; back row, Jacob, Mary, Jackson, his Dad, Sean, and Dana; Front Row, Jeffery, Joshua and Jadyn and Sagan. Lower Right, Grandpa, Jackson and Grandma
On Easter Sunday, Jackson gave  a marvelous message on the Atonement in his home ward Sacrament Meeting. This is often referred to as a homecoming report.  Afterwards, there was luncheon and Easter Egg hunt for the kids. 
Left Photo Back Row, Elder Williams, Sister Williams, Jed, Jessica with Myah, Joseph, Sean, Mary, Jackson, Dana and Sagan, Jacob, Jonathan, Gillian. Front Row, Lilly, Jadyn, Joshua and Jeffery. 
 This is a family photo of our Son Sean and Daughter in law Mary and their family with us. Here's another photo of Jackson with us. 
                       
My husband and I have been enjoying our missionary work. Here are some photos of the meetings that we attend with the younger Sisters, Elders and MLS couples.We have a Zone meeting once a month. We meet once a week for District Meetings.We have a weekly planning meeting with the Elders that we serve with. Quarterly, we have MLS Couple meeting for our entire mission. There are other firesides, and mission conferences as scheduled. We enjoy very much attending these various meetings. We learn so much and there is always a sweet spirit there that lifts our souls. 
Here is photo of our Zone meeting. 
Here is a photo of one of our weekly Planning meetings with the Elders we serve with. 
Our week usually is packed with studying and visits. On Mondays we typically have what we call a Preparation day. This is a day to catch up with our housework, errands, and couple planning. We can also plan a fun activity on this day. 
The rest of the week we make visits to various families and or individuals that we are seeing to help strengthen them in their testimonies through messages that we give. We also do team teaching with the Elders to those who are non members of our faith and are receiving missionary lessons. We are having wonderful spiritual experiences in the meetings that we have. We know that Heavenly Father is hastening His work of Salvation. We have many small miracles on almost a daily basis. Our testimonies of this work has been strengthened so much. We know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. We have powerful testimonies of The Book of Mormon. We know that the church has been restored in these latter days by the Prophet Joseph Smith. We know that we have a Living Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson that leads and guides our Church. There are two wonderful men that are his counselors; President Henry B. Eyring.  and  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  He is a living Prophet to the World. There are 12 Apostles who serve with him. These men go throughout the world lifting and caring for the members of the church and reaching out to those of other faiths. They are special witnesses of Jesus Christ. There are many other men who are called to serve in the Quorum of Seventy who also serve throughout the world. 
All of the younger missionaries that serve are suppose to give several hours of service each week to those with needs. We also look for opportunities to do various types of service.  
Our Church is very much involved in caring for the poor and needy. This is one of the most important things that our church does throughout the world. Whenever there is a disaster and or a need for humanitarian service our Church is there.
With the recent Earthquakes the missionaries serving in those areas will be helping with the clean-up and other services as needed. Our Church will immediately respond and send help in the form of food, supplies and etc. Also, many members volunteer to go to these areas to help with whatever they are qualified to do. 
 I will be posting next week on a large service project for Refugees and other organizations that our Stake Relief Society just completed on Saturday 
Recently, my dear husband was diagnosed with a 20 in. Blood Clot in his leg. He is back on the medication that he was on last year for the blood clots he had in his lung. You can read that experience here. His recovery then was a miracle and we have had a miracle again. 
He rested for a few days and then we are back to work. He had a Priesthood Blessing and again his recovery has been miraculous. We know that our prayers have been answered and we are graterful for all of the prayers offered in his behalf. 
Due to all that has been going on I have not had the time to do blogging. I am missing all of you. I plan to get caught up with the reading of your blog posts within the next few days. You are dear friends and I do want to know how you are doing. If you are on Facebook you can find me on my Living Water's Facebook page. I try to do short updates each night. 
I am sending out lots of love and hug to you all! 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Feelings Of The Heart~

We woke up to a beautiful spring day. It is also the beginning of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint's General Conference as found here. We have been looking forward to watching each of the sessions of conference that are broadcast over this Saturday and Sunday weekend. Here we listen to the voices of our beloved Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and our Apostles along with many other leaders of the Quorum of Seventy and the Auxiliaries of the church. We always enjoy the music that is provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other Choirs over these two days. 

 Before the conference began my mind went back to 49 years ago on the Saturday we were engaged. My beloved husband had just returned from his Mission in Northern California on  March 22nd of 1967. We had dated our Junior and Senior year of High School, attended the University of Utah together for a few months and he then left for his mission. I had waited for him for two years while going through Nursing school. Two long years where our communications were through weekly letters. When he came home our feelings for each other had not changed. I will never forget that precious General Conference weekend that we were engaged.We attended the next day the Sunday Session at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on Temple Square. The one fun moment was when one of his converts in the mission called us and told us that she saw us on TV at the conference.
From that day forward being able to attend and or watch General Conference in April and October of each year has been a highlight of our life together with our growing family.
 Now we have the privilege and blessing of being full time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Conference is a special time to continue to build our testimony of the work. We know that our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ love us all. They want all to return to live with them someday. This is the true Church of Jesus Christ. It has been restored to the earth by our beloved Prophet Joseph Smith. On April 6th of 1830 the Church was organized.  Since that time we have always had a living Prophet on the Earth to guide and direct us. President Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet just as real and true as the Prophets of old. The ancient prophets Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac,Jacob, Moses and etc. were prophets for their day and they wrote prophetic writings that are found in the Old Testament and the New Testament. Along with all those prophets are the prophets found in the The Book of Mormon. Here you will find the teachings for their day. The best part of the Book of Mormon is the visit to the Americas  of the Lord Jesus Christ to those people after his resurrection. This is found in the Book of Mormon; 3 Nephi chapters 8-28. He spent days with them teaching, healing and loving these people.
 We love teaching from the pages of The Book of Mormon. It is a 2nd testament of Jesus Christ as a companion book to the Holy Bible.  We invite all to read The Book of Mormon and pray and ask if it is true. Through sincere prayer you will know that The Church of Jesus Christ and The precious Book of Mormon are true. 
I would invite each of you to take a moment and watch our General Conference. You will hear messages of hope, love and healing. As you pray about what you hear, you feel the spirit and you will know that their testimonies are true. We live in difficult times and there is much turmoil in the world today but we have a Prophet who lives and guides us through these struggling  times. Come listen to a Prophet's voice and feel the Spirit testify of truth. 
Today I have had deep and poignant feelings within my heart of love for all of God's Children. These feelings are real and I know that we are all beloved spirit children of Heavenly parents. These feelings come from the depths of my soul. I love my Savior Jesus Christ and I know He walks with us during our difficult moments. I am so graterful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost that bares witness to me of truth. I love visiting, caring for and teaching others of the truths that I know to be true. I know all of this through sincere prayer to my loving Heavenly Father. I can not deny the feeling that come to me of truth through the Holy Ghost. I believe that God the Father is a resurrected and exalted being. I know that Jesus Christ gave his life through the Atonement for all his spirit brothers and sisters. He was resurrected and through this atoning act we will be resurrected. I know that through the ordinances and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ and if I remain true; I will return to live in the presence of my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ with my eternal companion and family. 

You can read about the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ here.
You can learn more about our faith here.  
You can receive a free copy of the Book of Mormon here

Thursday, March 24, 2016

His Three Day Gift~

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest gift of Hope and Healing. As we are serving a full time mission; we daily invite others to come unto Christ. We experience great moments of joy when they recognize how the Atonement can bless their lives. 
Our living prophet for our day, President Thomas S. Monson stated; "Oh sweet the joy this sentence gives, I know that my Redeemer lives. May the whole world know it and live by that knowledge I humbly pray." I too know that my Redeemer lives.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus Christ took upon himself the Sins of the World. No one can understand what he went through but our Savior did this for each and every one of us. 
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve apostles made this profound statement: "The Savior has suffered not just for our iniquities but also for the inequality, the unfairness, the pain, the anguish, and the emotional distresses that so frequently beset us. There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, "No one understands, No one knows." No human being, perhaps knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor-literally run to us-and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
Take a moment and watch this very tender heart felt video of the song Gethsemane music and words written by Roger and Melanie Hoffman and sang by Claire Ryann and video produced by her father.This sweet little 3 year old will melt your heart. I was once the Achievement Day Leader of this precious child's mother many years ago. Her parents and grandparents are cherished friends of ours. 
Wishing you all a very Joyful Easter Celebration! 


Here are more Easter videos to watch~
#Halleujah
#Becauseofhim

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Shout Praises To Our Lord and King~

I do know that my Redeemer Lives and this does provide great comfort in my life. I can testify that I know I have a loving Heavenly Father who loves all of His children. I know that He sent His Son our brother, Jesus Christ  to complete the Atonement for each of us. Our Savior lives; I believe this with all my heart and soul.
  I can testify that The Book of Mormon is true and was written for our day. My favorite section of the Book of Mormon is 3 Nephi chapters 8 thru 28.  Here is where the Savior visited with the inhabitants of this continent after his resurrection and taught them. My very favorite chapter is 3 Nephi 17. I love this chapter because of the great love Jesus showed by healing the sick and afflicted and caring for the children.  I know that if you read the Book of Mormon and pray with real intent; the spirit of the Holy Ghost will testify to your heart that it is true.
 I know that we have a true and living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson that leads this church under the direction of our Savior; it is His church. I know that we have 12 living Apostles today. These men are liken unto the Prophet and Apostles of Jesus's time. I know that they receive revelation for our day and time. On April 2nd and 3rd they will speak at our World Wide Conference. They are Prophets and Apostles for the whole world. Their words are true. I have felt the spirit of the Holy Ghost testify to my heart many times that this church is true. The only true and living church on the earth today. I know that if we follow our Prophet he will never lead us astray. This testimony is a gift that I treasure. This gift blesses my life during my earthly trials and during wonderful moments of joy. 
I do shout Praises to my Lord and King~
Here are two very special Easter videos. Enjoy the rendition from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.






Friday, March 4, 2016

Joyful Moments~ February 2016

Joy moment One~ We celebrated my husband's Birthday on January 29th together and then on January 31st; we were able to celebrate his birthday with our son and some of his family. We had fun with them all! It was my husband's 70th birthday; so that is a milestone for him. We are now the same age; yeah! He had a great day and enjoyed  talking on the phone with his other children and grandchildren.
Joy moment two~ One of our joys is our sweet dog Sammy. He is so fun and we love him so much. Sammy is very smart and has us wrapped around his little paw. He really loves my husband and is always so happy when "Daddy" comes home. They love playing with Sammy's toys. He likes to mainly play tug of war and he seldom lets go of his toy. He is a great stress reliever. Sammy likes to get on a chair in our study and look out the window. He especially likes watching the ducks that are across the street. Sammy loves to sit by us and he loves being cuddled. He is our precious little fur baby. 
Joy moment three ~We had two other couples join us on our MLS mission in January; Elder and Sister Foutz and Elder and Sister Goodrich. Each of the couples serve in two other buildings in our Stake; each building has three wards in it. This is one of our planning meetings with our full time Elders; Elder Araujo and Elder Dutton.  We always enjoy these young men and women that serve so faithfully. We are excited to serve with these two couples. We are very intent on hastening the work of our Savior Jesus Christ. 

To all you treasured friends and family out there! We are very busy with our mission endeavors. I will be slowing down a bit on social media moments. I am struggling with not being able to read your blog and Facebook posts as often as I would like. Just know that I am thinking about you and will visit as often as I can. 
Sending love and hugs your way!






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