Friday, December 8, 2017

Christmas Anticipation ~

Are you running to and fro doing your Christmas shopping and celebrating? Are we having fun yet? I am more like yikes; stressed out. I don't think that is the way it is supposed to be. We should just be basking away in the everyday moments of serving, loving and caring for others. I find the season to be exciting and fun but also a lot of work. We must slow down and just do the small and meaningful things to #lighttheworld 

We have the opportunity of going to Hawaii for Christmas this year. That is part of my stress; getting Christmas ready for the family here and packing to go there. We are thrilled to spend it with our daughter and her family from Australia. She is moving back to the states which makes us very happy. We will spend about 12 total days there. I know that it will seem very different from the traditional Christmases that I love. I like all the family get-togethers, parties, the nativity, the decorated tree, the beautifully wrapped gifts and etc. I love the giving of gifts to one another and enjoyable moments of service to others.   
With that being said, I love Christmas and I wanted to do a short Christmas post. 
Here is my Christmas Letter to all of my marvelous friend and family that read my blog. 
May you all know the love I have in my heart for each of you. 

The year of 2017 was a memorable one. We continued to serve in our full-time MLS mission and were released in September. We experienced two remarkable years.  We'll forever cherish our memories of that work. We met and taught so many families and individuals that we grew to love deeply. They will forever remain sweet friends. 
We look forward to returning to temple service in 2018. Prior to our release LeAnn received a call to serve as Stake Relief Society President. To say the least, she was shocked and humbled. So, busy days and nights continue. 
In March we received our 5th Great Grandchild; a sweet little one named Katalina Williams born to our Grandson Jacob and his darling wife Dana Williams.
We celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary on June 13th. Our children planned a wonderful celebration for us with family and friends. All of our children were able to be there. It was a landmark moment in our lives. 
 We have blessed with  6 wonderful children and spouses, 32 Grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. We have been greatly blessed in so many ways.
We’re especially grateful for all of our wonderful family and friends. May your homes and hearts be filled with the Savior’s light and love as you celebrate this Christmas season. Enjoy your moments together with family and friends. We invite you to reflect upon our Redeemer’s love for all.
Love, Roger and LeAnn Williams

“The same God that placed that star over Bethlehem gave equal attention in placing each of us here at this time and in these circumstances, to give light, life, and inspiration. May we illuminate our lives so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.”   Elder Neal a Maxwell

My next blog post will be some photos here and there from Christmas in Hawaii. 
Check out these links for some awesome thoughts and videos~
                            #sharethegift   #lighttheworldvideos  #asaviorisborn
Remember Light The World by giving for 25 days in 25 ways This Christmas Season. You can find the ideas here at #lighttheworld #lightheworld

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Grateful Heart!

Wishing all of my dear friends and family a very Happy Thanksgiving Day and Weekend.
In my heart, I have a deep love for people, and I have loved getting to know many of you through blogging and other media. You have blessed my life in many ways. I have enjoyed your posts on various subjects, beautiful photos of activities and treasured family times. There have been occasions when I have been reading posts that one of you have mentioned something that I needed to read or see that day. My heart has been lifted from sad moments. I have learned how to cook better, be more organized, enjoy simple things of life, be more observant of our Heavenly Father's creations. My faith has been strengthened by your kindness and service to others. I have loved reading your testimonies of your own religion, inner peace found and inner struggles lightened.  I love humanity. I love all of you. 

On this Thanksgiving Day, I want to share with you a short gratitude list. These are some of the things that I am deeply thankful for. 
1. I am intensely grateful for my Heavenly Father. I know He loves me and all of you. We are His children. He continues in multiples ways to bless us all. As you draw near unto Him; He will draw near unto you. I believe our Father is in the details of our lives. He wants us to return again to live with Him someday. 

2. I have a deep love for my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He suffered and died for me and all of you. Somehow through His Atoning sacrifice, He has felt all of our pains from sin, physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles. He alone knows how we feel. He loves us and is continuing to reach out to us. He is our advocate with the Father. He knows us and has already paid the price for our sins and painful life experiences. All we have to do is repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, follow Him and endure to the end. He is our example, and through Him, we can live more Christ-like lives. 

3. I am profoundly thankful that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the infinite Plan of Happiness found within. I love to serve and have had many opportunities through the years. It has increased my love for others tenfold. I know that my beliefs are true because the Spirit of the Holy Ghost has testified to me of its truthfulness. 
I am thankful for our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and all of the Apostles. They are true Disciples of Christ and are there for us all.  They travel throughout the world to strengthen our growing church. Our church does so much for the world through its humanitarian efforts; it's incredible!

4. I am grateful for the best husband in the entire world. Now I know there are many that feel the same but I do know I am seriously blessed with a very great Man. He serves me, loves me, cares for me, and teaches me daily what a true Disciple of Christ is. Of course, along with this cherished man; I love our dog named Sammy. He brings lots of joy into my life.

5. Ok, I have the best posterity.My grateful heart loves each of the individuals in our posterity.  I have a total of 6 children and spouses, 32 precious Grandchildren, and 5 beautiful Great Grandchildren. They bless my life in countless ways. 

6. I am thankful for books; I have learned so much from reading.I do love a good novel.
However, I am passionately thankful for my most favorite book; The Book of Mormon. It is a compelling book of scripture. It is a book that speaks to me with answers to prayers and has helped me as an individual, companion to my husband and a parent. I invite all to read this valuable book. I do love the other scriptures, the Holy Bible, Doctrine, and Covenants and
 Pearl of Great Price.They are very powerful books, also. 

7. I am appreciative of great music. I love listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Oldies, classical and country. I find music to be mood building and can be very stirring. I also believe that music calms the heart, brings the spirit and can heal my soul.
8. I am thankful for this lovely world we live in. I have three blogging friends that post spectacular photos of nature, and it profoundly moves my soul. 
photo by Barb@Barb's blog
9. Dearest friends and extended family members such as siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles. I love you all, and my life is more abundant because of you and your friendship with me. Thank you for being the angels in my life that bare me up when times are hard and lighten my heart in many ways. 

10. Last but not least I love the temples that I have the privilege to serve in. I am grateful for my moments within. Here I find peace in the world and it is to me Heavenly Father's priceless University. I always learn something new within those walls. I have received remarkable revelations for my life while in these marvelous edifices. 

I am grateful for this beautiful world and all of the wonderful brothers and sisters in within it. We are all spectacular creations from a loving Heavenly Father. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Peace Through Prayer-

Lately, I have been somewhat concerned with a few personal challenges involving family members, church responsibilities along with current events that touch all of us. 
I awakened early one morning and tried very hard to go back to sleep. My mind was focused on those concerns; therefore, it became impossible to sleep. I felt that I needed to go to my favorite room and have a thoughtful conversation with my Heavenly Father.
 Following that prayer, I looked down and noticed the November 2017 LDS General Conference issue of the Ensign. While thumbing through it I immediately felt impressed to read a particular article. The message was titled "That Your Joy Might Be Full" by Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society General President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsAs I read it, I realized I had received a tender mercy from the Lord; a true answer to prayer. 
For the full article, click on the link above. I'd like to share a few statements from this precious message. 
The following thought by Sister Bingham sums up some of the major issues we as humans are facing in today's world. She states: " A recent news headline reads, "Disasters rock the nation and world." From hurricanes and floods to heat waves and droughts, from wildfires and earthquakes to wars and devasting diseases, it seems"the whole earth is in commotion." 
"Millions of people have been displaced, and countless lives have been disrupted by these challenges. the contention in families and communities, as well as inner struggles and fear, doubt, and unfulfilled expectations, also leave us in turmoil....." 
This summarizes many of my feelings, and perhaps some of your concerns as well.  As I continued to read the article tears came as I realized that my prayer was being answered. 
Here are a few quotes that calmed my heart, lifted the cloud of sadness that enveloped me and gave me answers to help not only myself but one of my precious daughters. 
"Lasting joy is found in focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ and living the gospel as demonstrated and taught by Him. The more we learn about, have faith in, and emulate Jesus Christ, the more we come to understand that He is the source of all healing, peace, and eternal progress. He invites each of us to come unto Him."

Sister Bingham then mentioned that President Russell M. Nelson and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged us to study "The Living Christ" as part of learning more about the Savior. The Living Christ is a proclamation sent out to the world of the Apostles Testimony of the Living Christ. 
As I read that inspired document I knew I wanted to try to memorize it. My husband and I are accepting this challenge and invite others to do the same. This is a comprehensive and powerful declaration of our Devine Savior, Jesus Christ. You can find the link to The Living  Christ document here. 
Sister Bingham continues, stating that Jesus truly "is the light, the life, and the hope of the world." ...."No matter what we have suffered He is the source of healing. Those who have experienced any manner of abuse, devasting loss, chronic illness or disabling affliction, untrue accusations, vicious persecutions, or spiritual damage from sin or misunderstandings can all be made whole by the Redeemer of the world. However, He will not enter without invitation. We must come unto Him and allow Him to work His miracles."
One final quote from Sister Bingham: " Jesus Christ is also the source of peace. He invites us to "lean on His ample arm" and promises the peace...which passeth all understanding." A feeling that comes when His Spirit "speaks peace to our souls". No matter what challenges surround us. Whether they are personal struggles, family troubles, or community crises, peace will come as we trust that God's Only Begotten Son has the power to soothe our aching souls. 

This spiritual experience was profound. Within minutes of reading this article, my daughter called me concerning a few difficult concerns. As I shared my thoughts on this beautiful message, it brought peace to her troubled soul.
I encourage you to read this article if you're feeling turmoil in your life. You will find peace and feelings of joy in knowing what you have read is true. 
I know beyond doubt that I received a tender mercy directly from my loving Heavenly Father and you can obtain such a gift as well. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Our Vibrant October Days~

We started our October Days with fall decorating. We simplified this year for more than one reason. One is I was tired! 
The first Saturday of October, we attended two of our Grandson's Soccer games. The photo above is our Grandson, Joshua. He plays goalie and he did a number of great saves for the team
The photo of the young man on the beach is our Grandson, Jeffery. He plays Forward on the team and has made several goals this year. He is a very talented player.
I loved this moment with my friend Sue. We went to lunch and enjoy being together. I met Sue while on our mission and she is such an awesome lady.  
Here are two updated photos of my husband and I. We are missing our mission and our missionary badges. We are still doing some visiting with some of the wonderful individuals and families we were working with. We are now just their friends. 
Our 8-year-old Grandson, Benjamin was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in October. He was so excited to receive these ordinances. This endearing family of ours, live in Arizona. They are moving up here the 1st of December. They decided they wanted him Baptized here so more of the family on both sides could attend. We had a delightful day with them all.  
The top left photo is our daughter, Jenni, granddaughter, Alyssa, and son in law, Michael with Emma and Benjamin in the front. Top right photo is their family with Michael's mother, Irene. Middle right photo is one of Michael's siblings family and children from another sibling, plus his mother.
Bottom left is Irene with Benjamin - the Bottom middle is LeAnn, Roger, and Benjamin. Bottom right is our two families, Michael and Jenni with Alyssa, Emma and Ben and our son James, Amber and their three children, Christian, Taylor Jo, and Averi; plus us. 
We later celebrated our Granddaughter, Taylor Jo's 17th birthday. It was fun to celebrate this special time with her. She is an outstanding young woman and we are so proud of her. 
Here we are just chill in together as a family. We had such a delightful day with them all! 
Next event was our missionary homecoming report in our home ward on a Sunday. Our Heber family came down for it. We celebrated our Grandson, Joshua's 11th birthday. We had a total of 18 present. Our two oldest grandchildren's family with all 5 of our great-grandchildren. We had dinner and the birthday celebration. It as a lovely Sabbath day. 
Here is our grandson's Joseph, Jeffery, and Jackson. Next photo, Jessica our granddaughter in law in the background; grandson, Jackson; great-granddaughter, Lilly; great-grandson, Sagan; birthday boy, Joshua, grandson, Jeffery and great-granddaughter, Jadyn. 
Here is my angel friend, Toni. We have been close friends for years and I love time with her. We had a great lunch and conversation. We actually both went on our missions at the same time and were in the Mission Training Center together. She and her husband went to Tonga while we stayed at home for our mission. 

We traveled to Sugar City, Idaho for our Grandson, Ethan's High School's last season game. Our Granddaughter, Karli was part of the halftime Cheer Squad Performance. She is really good and sometimes is the one on the top; scary. 
Top left photo is Roger, Ethan, our Grandson, and LeAnn. He wasn't very happy because they lost the game. He is the center and a very good one. 
Bottom left a photo, Roger and Grandson, Layton and next photo is Grandson, Kason.

Bottom Left photo, a half view of our Grandson, Austin; daughter in law, Amanda; our granddaughter, Justice. Next photo our youngest Granddaughter, Haven and then our son Travis. 
Here are some awesome ladies that I have known for more than 50 years. They are my high school friends. They have been meeting together for lunch once a month for a while. I went to lunch with them a few times while I was on my mission. I really love each of these sweet girls. We have so much fun when we are together. 
Other than being a bit older, we are all the same as when we were in High School. We enjoy reminiscing and laughing a lot.  
On the way home from lunch, I stopped at the University of Utah student housing and took photos of the student housing apartment we lived in about 47 years ago.
They were brand new apartments when we first moved in. I have many fond memories of our years in this apartment complex.
We were invited to my husband, Roger's oldest brother's 80th birthday party. All the siblings were there except for his brother Bruce, who wasn't able to come. We had a great evening visiting with one another. Laddy is in the top left photo. The top right photo is Roger and his siblings; Michael, Laddy, Gloria, Jerry, and Steve. Missing is Bruce and then his oldest sister Marilyn has passed away. 
Last week we went to St. George to spend some time with Roger's brother Bruce and our sister in law, Anita. Roger went fishing with his brother and they caught some nice fish. I spent time with Anita. We did some shopping and just had a great visit. We loved going to church and spending a sweet Sabbath day with them. 
I had two other events this month. In my new assignment as Stake Relief Society President, we held our first Auxiliary Training meeting for all the 10 ward Relief Society Presidencies. We had a light dinner of delicious soups, salads, bread steaks and a scrumptious dessert. 
Our meeting was wonderful and our Stake President closed the meeting and the spirit was there to help us through all of our training. 
It was fun to meet and get to know the sisters better. Many of them I met while I was serving my mission. 
Within a few days, we were given an additional assignment of decorating 36 tables for an upcoming Stake High Priest dinner this Friday. It's been a busy 10 days planning and getting everything together. It should be a wonderful dinner and program. 
Yup! I haven't had time to sit back in my recliner and start a good novel. Maybe, next week. 
That's my October moments of family fun and lovely friend moments.  
Wishing all of you dear Blogging and Facebooking friends out there a wonderful month of November filled with many special times with family and friends as we remember to be Thankful for all of our blessings. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sisters In Service~

Recently, my husband and I were released from our two year full time proselyting mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We loved this opportunity in our lives and learned so much about ourselves and others as we worked to fulfill our purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. We had many miracles occur that were amazing. 

About 10 days before we were released, we met with our beloved Stake President and I was called to serve as the Stake Relief Society President in our Stake. Wow, this was such a shock. I was so unprepared for this moment. It was a very spiritual experience in my life as I accepted and went through the process of choosing some choice women to serve with me. I thought I might share with you what that calling entails. 
I belong to one of the oldest and largest women's organization in the world. It is the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. There are approximately 7.1 million Relief Society members throughout 170 countries in the world. 
The Relief Society is for women ages 18 and over whose purpose is to provide support for the temporal and spiritual needs of all women in the Church, as well as others who are in need. 
Here is a brief history of it's organization as found in the Newsroom under Relief Society History:
Mormons believe that in 1830 Joseph Smith Jr. was called by God to reestablish the ancient church and its priestly authority, teachings and ordinances. As part of this “Restoration,” an organization of women was established after the order and “pattern of the priesthood” believed to be a part of the ancient church. Joseph Smith declared, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized.” Eliza R. Snow, the second Relief Society general president, later affirmed: “Although the name may be of modern date, the institution is of ancient origin. We were told by our martyred prophet [Joseph Smith] that the same organization existed in the church anciently.”
The Relief Society, as this institution came to be called, was originally organized to administer welfare needs and quickly expanded to encompass the spiritual as well as temporal needs of the Saints. By the 20th century, John Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, summarized the Relief Society’s purpose as pursuing the “relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance — relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman.” 

"The mission of Relief Society includes increasing personal faith and righteousness, strengthening homes and families and seeking out and helping those in need. Today, the Relief Society creates a sisterhood for women in the Church and opportunities for rendering service to all members of the congregation, as well as to the global community.
 Our Stake Relief Society Service Project in 2016~
 Relief Society women serve in leadership roles, share the gospel, provide service, teach, train and deliver sermons. The Relief Society women pair together to visit other sisters and families in the congregation to offer service and support as well as to ensure that their temporal and spiritual needs are being met. Local Relief Society presidencies in congregations throughout the world work with the bishopric to help those who have special needs because of old age, physical or emotional illness, emergencies, births, deaths, disability, loneliness and other challenges. They also work to help foster self-reliance, literacy and other needed skills for individuals. At a regional level, Relief Society leaders supervise regional welfare efforts and Relief Society-supported emergency relief. General Relief Society leaders conduct training for local leaders around the globe and assist with general welfare services and Church educational boards, among other responsibilities.
My Stake Relief Society Presidency is made up of myself, two counselors and a secretary; we will be under the direction of our Stake President. 
The New Stake Relief Society Presidency~
We meet with and train all new Relief Society Ward Presidencies. We attend various meetings and host at least two Stake events per year. We visit the ward Relief Society meetings and activities. Currently, we have 9 wards and 1 branch that we will be working with. Once a year we plan and provide a dinner and guest speaker.We attend Ward Conferences and visit individual sisters in the various wards. I will be over Welfare and Emergency Preparedness and will give on-going training in these areas.
I am very excited about this new assignment and very overwhelmed. However, that being said I won't be as busy as our full time mission. I will be able to spend time with family, take trips and other activities. 
I love the sisters in our Stake and look forward to getting to know more of them better. 
I hope that many of you will now have an understanding of this marvelous Women's organization. I will share posts about a few of our activities and service opportunities that will be part of this assignment. 
Love and hugs to all you wonderful women out there. You are marvelous and greatly loved by our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

September A Time Of Transition~

On September 26th, 2017, my husband and I completed two years of full time service in the Utah Salt Lake South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. People often asked what type of mission we were serving. It was a "stay at home" (MLS) Member and Leader Support mission. This is a popular area of service for senior missionaries throughout the world. We served primarily in a proselyting role which included: teaching the gospel to investigators; reactivating less-active members; retaining recent converts; strengthening young single adults, and supporting local leaders in their assignments  We were subject to other assignments as needed or directed by the Mission President. Working in our local area, we received direction from our Stake President and the Bishops of the wards we served in. We spent much of our time assisting the younger full time missionaries to find and teach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We assisted with two baptisms earlier in the month of September. The first photo is a inquisitive young boy that we were assigned by the Bishop to teach the missionary lessons to. We had so much fun with him. He was very smart and asked a lot of questions; which was awesome.  As he was preparing for baptism these two beloved sisters; Sister Cox and Sister Casinas gave him a review lesson and he answered all their questions perfectly. These two wonderful young women had been transferred to other areas just a few days before his baptism and they were given permission to come to his baptism.  
 The  second photo is of Elder Luke and Elder Seager that were transferred into our area. They were able to teach this other young boy and he was baptized on that same day.  

We loved being able to celebrate the birthday of our Great Grandson, Sagen. He turned 5 years old. It was an exciting party. He is a delightful Great Grandson and we love him so much. He is very creative, intelligent and fun to be around. I'm amazed by the children of today. They are so curious, intelligent and advanced in their thinking. I feel strongly that our loving Heavenly Father has reserved many of his most valiant spirits for our day. Children  are remarkable. The lower center photo is us with our youngest Great Granddaughter. 

Here we are - the final evening of our mission. Tears were shed as we were released and removed our missionary badges. It was an emotional moment. We loved serving this mission. At times it seemed very difficult. But it was also one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives. However, as you can see, we can now wear casual attire on a daily basis. Awesome!
 Our main purpose was to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel though faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.  Because we love our Heavenly Father and our divine Savior, Jesus Christ; we want others to draw closer to them. 
We experienced many miracles during our mission. We frequently knew that we were being guided and directed in finding, teaching and reaching out to many. We were able to witness as certain individuals made changes in their lives bringing them closer to the Savior.
 I have journals filled with experiences we had which strengthened our testimonies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the restoration of the gospel in this dispensation of time. We will continue to be "member" missionaries forever. 
 Stake Relief Society Presidency of the Country Park Stake~
 On a side note, just before our release, I was called to serve as the Stake Relief Society President. I was quite surprised and very overwhelmed. Nevertheless, receiving the call was a spiritual experience.. As I seek to learn all that is involved, I feel apprehensive about my abilities.  However the following scriptural verses have given me considerable hope. 
Ether 12:27 “.. for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” 
Isaiah 40:31; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Philippians 4:13; I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
I recently held my first Stake Relief Society Presidency meeting with the Presidency members, who will assist me. These three sisters are powerful and have strong testimonies of the gospel. They are highly talented and have been well seasoned through many unique life experiences. 

 I want to share my testimony of The Book of Mormon. This book was one of our greatest tools on our mission. As individuals read, ponder and pray about this book; they will find answers to many of life's questions. Those who pray with real intent will receive a confirmation by the power of the Holy Ghost that this book is true. We were recently invited to read ten pages a day, and to continue throughout our lives. In one year we will have read this book six times. Every time I read from it's pages I receive new thoughts, understanding, guidance and answers. It is another testament of Jesus Christ. I invite all to read this powerful book. 
This past weekend we had The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints General Conference which is held twice a year. We received counsel and direction from our First Presidency,12 Apostles and other leaders in the church. We listened to inspired messages and beautiful music by our Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other choirs. 
We were saddened to hear that our beloved Apostle, Elder Robert D. Hales passed away at the hospital between the Sunday Sessions of conference. He was a wonderful man and an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the years delivered many great sermons that touched my heart. I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. 
Here is a link on information from this conference. 


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