Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Birthday To My Dearest Husband, Roger~

Our early birthday celebration last weekend with our families in Idaho~
Dad and Sammy blowing out the candles~
Happy Birthday dear; I am wishing for you a wonderful day. I am hoping that you can  have a few hours today to enjoy your Birthday.  I love you with all of my heart and soul. I am so grateful that you are my Eternal companion. I love your kind and loving heart. I know that you are a true and faithful disciple of Christ.  You have always been loving, sweet, caring and giving in our relationship.Thanks for loving me even when I mess up. You have such a forgiving heart.   You have always been respectful to me in all things.  I feel from you a deep love. Our love for each other is strong and beautiful and hard to really define in words.
 I am eternally  grateful for our temple marriage. I look forward to our eternity together. 
 I  know and feel that  perhaps we knew each other well in the pre-existence. I am  sure that I chased you around  that sphere and that we did promise to find one another in this life. The world terms this as a soul mate. I  term this as eternal love. Our years together have been filled with deep joy. Thanks you for being the best husband ever.
You are such a good father and grandfather and now great grandfather. I know that our children love you deeply and recognize how much you love them. You have worked hard to be a good provider and father. You have given each of our children beautiful father's blessings through the years. I love that they still seek you out for counsel and blessings. You have been a wonderful example of what a good husband and father should be.
On this day I pray that you will know the love that we all have for you. Thanks  for caring tenderly for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Grandpa with his newest granddaughter, Haven
There are countless times that you have given hours to your children; many of which they are unaware of. There were so many middle of the night challenges with sick little ones and you often walked the floor with them  giving me a welcomed break. When they were growing up, I remember so many times when they  just needed you. You were there with wise counsel that they sometimes defined as a lecture. Now in their own parenting they recognize how hard you tried to guide them. You have always been there for them. 
Now when we note that there is a struggle or trial going on with one of our family members; we  spend time in the temple and on our knees in prayer over their concerns. We have always sought the guidance of the Lord in  handllng serious concerns with our posterity. 

We truly want "No Empty Chairs" in our eternal family. I love that we pray together sometimes in tears over these wonderful children that we have been blessed with. I know that the spouses of our children love you and know how much you and I love them. They each have such choice eternal companions and we feel so blessed to call them all our children. 
Have a blessed birthday celebration and enjoy some sweet moments this day knowing that you are greatly loved by me. In closing these birthday thoughts I want to share some words from your birthday card: 
"You tease me with your eyes and thrill me with your kiss, Impress me with your mind, remind me love is bliss. You feel my world with color even when the weather's gray and have me smiling  with thoughts of you all day. You move me like no other and I can't help but let it show...I'm so much in love with you (as if you didn't know). 
Happy Birthday dear Roger~

Friday, January 24, 2014

"I Hope They Call Me On A Mission"

Last week our grandson, Jackson received his mission call to serve in the Omaha Nebraska Mission. He is to report to the Mission Training Center on March 19th. At times he can be a bit camera shy. This is the first  photo before the opening of his letter. The opening of the missionary letter is a very celebrated and joyous moment. This was filmed but I haven't been able to get it on the blog. I am sad~
Jackson has prepared for this moment since he was very young. He comes from a long line of missionaries who have served in our family. His father served a mission in Iowa. His other Uncles and Aunt have served in the following areas: Washington DC, Costa Rica, Venezuela, New Zealand, Arizona, and Chili. My husband served in the Northern California Mission ,plus 3 stake missions and a Church Service Mission. I have served as a Stake Missionary 3 times, two Church Service Missions; a nurse for the Spokane Washington Mission and a Church Service Inner City Mission. The great grandparents on both sides also have served on various mission.
Jackson understood the thoughts expressed in  Primary song; entitled, "I Hope They Call Me On A Mission".

The question has often been asked, how can we send out young men at the early age of 18 and the young woman at age 19 on a mission for our church. It seems like they are two young and not experienced enough to be on their own. The truth is that those who desire to serve a mission go because they believe in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They desire to spread the truths of the gospel throughout the nations of the earth.
They  prepare for their missions by working in the following areas.  1. Gospel Knowledge, 2. Personal Worthiness, 3. Work and Self-Reliance, 4. Physical and Emotional Health, 5. Financial Preparation. You can read about each of these areas of preparation here.

When Jackson was very young he had this as a goal in his life and he is now prepared to serve the Lord on a full - time proselyting mission.

In the opening of General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in October of 2012; President Monson in his opening remarks revealed the following: 
"I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available.
As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21."
Before this declaration by our prophet came, there were 58,500 young men and women serving missions throughout the world.
Immediately after this conference, the applications for missionary service increased dramatically for both young men and women. As of October Conference 2013 there were Approx. 80,000 young men and women serving. As of today there are 88,000 young men and women serving missions throughout the world.
There has been a hastening of the work. You can find more thoughts on the hastening of the work here.
Missionary life is hard work with an element of fun but most of all there are lots of moments of joy.  First, these young men and women are trained for three weeks in a Missionary Training Center if they are assigned to a English speaking mission. They are in the Mission Training Center for  twelve weeks if assigned to a foreign Language mission. Once in the assigned mission area they have rules of conduct that they live by. They are assigned a companion Elder or Sister and each day together they work on a schedule for the day. They go to bed at 10:30 at night and then arise at 6:30 each day. They  get up and have time to exercise and then prepare for the day. They have individual study time and companion  study time. They then go out to do the missionary work. Often times members will have prepared some of their non-member friends to listen to the missionary discussions so they have appointments already made. Other times they may do what is called tracking. This is where they go door to door asking if the person would like to hear more about our Savior Jesus Christ.  Often times they have doors slammed in their faces. When they meet some one that is interested in learning more about the church, they schedule a time to teach them. Then when this investigator accepts the gospel they are prepared to be baptized into the church.
While in the mission field they learn very important life skills. They learn the importance of prayer, scripture reading, organizing their days, budgeting their money, learning to live with another person. After the 2 years for the men and 18 months for the women they have grown a great deal in their testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are prepared to go forward in their lives by going to collage, starting a job, marriage and then of course, family life. It is a wondrous thing to send out into the mission field these young men and women and have them come home prepared to face life's challenges and also life's successes. 
Jackson has been preparing for his mission for a long time.  He is excited for this new opportunity. Right now he is busy getting more prepared spiritually, emotionally, physically and temporally. He has clothes to get for the weather he will be in. He has been working and saving for his mission. Missions are paid by the missionary or his family and if no money is available there is a mission fund from the ward or general church to help those young missionaries who do not have the funds to go.  Missionaries come from all around the world.  A mission costs about $10,000.00 for the two years.
There are also wonderful opportunities for service  for those who may not be able to do a full time mission due to physical or developmental disabilities. This program is wonderful. They are assigned to be a Church Service Missionary. Here they are assigned to work as a missionary part-time and still live at home. This is a great experience for them. 
There are different kinds of missions that are opened up to adult members of the church. Here is a the link to all of the different kinds of missionary service that is available.
My husband and I had the privilege of serving on an Inner City Mission for 21/2 years. This was a part-time Church Service Mission. There is so much joy in serving a mission.
Right now my husband and I are preparing to serve a full-time mission. There will be several different kinds of missions we could be assigned too but. we want to go where the Lord wants us to go.

  Attention:  For those of you who are in the Utah area; please check out this link on the Issue of Standing Up For Traditional Marriage. This is a great post with information on how to support this issue.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Word Is Charity~

For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about a "theme word" for this year. Last year it was hope. I enjoyed focusing on the many applications of this word. I tried to be positive and hopeful in what I wrote.
In considering the word Charity I recognize that it is not a simple word; it is very complex. Often times we merely think of Charity in respect to giving to others. We may make charitable contributions to various organization. Any act of caring for another is labeled as doing charitable work.
The dictionary defines charity as 1. Provision of help or relief to the poor; alms giving 2. Something given to help the needy; alms. 3. An institution, organization, or fund established to help the needy. 4. Benevolence or generosity toward others or toward humanity. 5. Indulgence or forbearance in judging others. See Synonyms, mercy. 6. Often Charity Christianity; the theological virtue defined as love directed first toward God but also toward oneself and one's neighbors as objects of God's love.
Recently, I have been reading a book about Zion and what it takes to become a Zion like person. In order to someday have a Zion Society, as prophesied in Scripture; we must first become a Zion person. When considering the various qualities of a Zion person; we begin to notice that they are the characteristics of  the Savior. In following his example we can be more like Him. We can strive to live a Christ like life.
The Pictures of Jesus Christ can be found here.

What are these characteristics that comprise a Christ like life. We find a definition in the New Testament in 1st Corinthians 13:
 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 Charity never faileth..........

While partaking of the Sacrament this week; I was pondering further upon the word Charity. One of my favorite scriptures popped into my mind; thus putting a finalized desire to understand how to seek for this gift of charity.
This scripture is found in the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 31: 20-21:   
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
The process of obtaining the gifts of Charity requires that you first love God with all your heart.....and then all men.  Loving all men means loving more than just those who believe as you do.
The Prophet, Moroni ~
I love these words of the prophet Moroni as found in the Book of Mormon in Moroni 7:42-47:
42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
 43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
 44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
 45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.
 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
So my goal this year is to study and write about the characteristics of Charity; the pure love of Christ. Here's a story I'd like to share as I begin this process of learning more about the qualities, characteristics and nature of charity.

 A passage from the novel Les misérables illustrates how we can begin to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  "Jean Valjean had just been released as a prisoner. Exhausted by a long voyage and dying of hunger and thirst, he arrives in a small town seeking a place to find food and shelter for the night. When the news of his arrival spreads, one by one all the inhabitants close their doors to him. Not the hotel, not the inn, not even the prison would invite him in. He is rejected, driven away, banished. Finally, with no strength left, he collapses at the front door of the town’s bishop.
The good clergyman is entirely aware of Valjean’s background, but he invites the vagabond into his home with these compassionate words:
“‘This is not my house; it is the house of Jesus Christ. This door does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry and thirsty; you are welcome. … What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me [your name], you had one which I knew.’
“[Valjean] opened his eyes in astonishment.
“‘Really? You knew what I was called?’
“‘Yes,’ replied the Bishop, ‘you are called my brother."
We have a famine in the world today of recognizing who we truly are. We are the children of a loving Heavenly Father. We are brothers and sisters. We can learn and grow in our quest to become more Christ-like, more Zion like. Join me in this learning process.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook - A Peek Into A January Day~

Be sure and drop by other Simple Day Book Entries Here. 
Enjoy reading and perhaps join the fun!

Outside my is a cold crisp January day. We are expecting a small snowstorm tonight and then more snow throughout the week. Although I don't like to go out into the snow, I do enjoy the beauty of it. Due to drought condition these last few years, we need more snow-pack to fill the reservoirs this spring.
I am I would love to stay home today but I need to run some errands and then go to my monthly Daughters of the Utah Pioneer meeting. I do enjoy the meetings. There is always a pioneer history and I will be doing one on my ancestor next month. We also sing pioneer songs which is fun. There is always a lesson given on some aspects of early pioneer life.
I am thankful...for so many blessings in my life. I do have a dear blogging friend that is going to do one gratitude post a week. My youngest daughter is also blogging on gratitude. You can see her blog posts here. I know when I have a grateful heart; life seems easier somehow. I do recognize the hand of the Lord in my life. I treasure my moments in prayerful communication with my loving Heavenly Father. I am so grateful for my Savior and I know that He is always there for me when in need. I have a deep testimony of Him and his role in my life.
In the kitchen....we have left over's from Sunday that we will warm up for dinner. Last night my cousin, Bill and his wife, Jo took us to dinner at Ruth Chris Steak House. I am still feeling full from the meal. It was a lovely time to get to know one another better. 
I am wearing....a pink and white housecoat and black slippers. I will be getting dressed for the day soon. I do have my make-up on which helps me start the day. With that in place I am ready to roll. 
I am going...first to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer meeting, then to pick up a specialized diet for our sweet dog Sammy. He has some expensive allergies.  I then hope to make a quick visit to a woman that I enjoyed being friends with while on our mission. 
I am wondering...if I will ever get my life on a schedule and accomplish more items from off my to do list. 
I am reading.... The Book of Mormon as always.

 Right now I am still in 2nd Nephi in the chapters on Isaiah's writings. I am reading this area slower because it is more difficult to understand. This is taking some prayer. I wasn't able to finish this section during December, so I am still working away on it. 
This year our Sunday school class will be studying the Old Testament. My husband gave me for Christmas two commentary books that aid in studying the Bible. I was able to teach the Old Testament in a Seminary Class several years ago. I love that year. 

I am still reading a fantastic book entitled: "The Triumph of Zion - Our Personal Quest For The New Jerusalem". by John M. Pontius. I am learning more about the different meanings of the word, Zion. Along with a lot of thoughts on how to become a Zion person; a true-Christ like person. This is a personal quest. I am reading slowly on this one too.

My dear husband gave me some other books for Christmas. I am still trying to decide which one to read first. I have a lot of unread books. These books will join the other unread books on the shelf as I slowly work through reading them all. I love to read; but finding the time is sometimes hard.
 He also gave me a new series book to read. I am excited about that; but I need to read the first one before the new one.

 I am get my year plans in order. I just have so much I want to accomplish. The list of projects is long and sometimes looks overwhelming. I am trying to schedule my time better so I can accomplish more on this list. I don't really have New Year resolutions this year because they have been the same ones for years. I decided to put the items I feel strongly about on a project list and work on them in snatches of time. I hope I can complete a few this year. The main items that I want to work on are more time and effort into genealogy, family history and temple work. 
I am looking receiving a call from my grandson, Jackson that he has received his Mission Call. The assignment should come in the mail soon. We will jump in the car and head for Heber City to be there when he opens his call to serve. I am just so excited for him. 
I am many things about what Zion means. I recognize that to be a Zion individual it really means following Christ and working on Christ like attributes. 
I have also been thinking about what word that I want to use as a theme for the 2014 year. Last year it was "Hope" and I learned so many lessons on hope. I am pondering upon the word Charity. Charity is so much more than just doing good deeds and etc. It really is the end result of a Christ like life. Charity is really the pure love of Christ, meaning that you love others like Christ loves. Christ loves us no matter what, totally unconditional. 

Around the house....there is still Christmas decorations up. I finished putting away the upstairs decorations so I now need to do the downstairs tree and etc. I always feel a bit of melancholy during this time.  Here's a a sweet memory of Christmas Morning; Sammy loved his new toy.  

I am pondering....on how to actually schedule and accomplish the large to do list. 
A favorite quote for today......'I see a wonderful future in an uncertain world. If we will cling to our values. If we will build on our inheritance. If we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. We will be looked upon as a peculiar people who have found the key to a peculiar happiness."
 ~ Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
One of my favorite to listen to music. I love all kinds of music except for hard rock. My preferences are Gospel, Country, Oldies, and Classical. I love listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  and other Christian and LDS music. I do enjoy a few of the country songs from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I think Faith has a beautiful voice that can sing different kinds of music. Her voice has such a depth and wide range. Oldies of course bring back romantic moments. Classical music takes me a way to another place as I feel the emotion of the music touch my soul. I love most hearing my daughters sing; that brings me great joy. 
A pet Peeve.....This one can be controversial. I really don't like the unshaven look of many men of today. I like my man shaved. My son's like to grow beards and I like their clean shaven look best. I think men look younger when shaved.  I guess if I get feedback from my boys I will know they actually read this. They already know my deeper thoughts on this subject. Mind you I don't mind beards on other men, because I don't need to. It is just my  personal preference. 
Something new about me.....I like to do research work. I have always enjoyed a good challenge. When I start a project I work hard on it. I think that will happen when I am more into doing Family History work. 
One of my guilty pleasures....I am running out of guilty pleasures. There is one that I don't feel free to share. I will leave it at that; and I may share it someday.
A few plans for the rest of the week: A haircut tomorrow - Time to organize myself - Temple Service- Perhaps a moment or two with some good friends - Maybe a Saturday movie with my hubby - I just want a few low key days. 
A  Favorite Picture to share......
Gosh, I need to get to Idaho and hold this new granddaughter of mine. 


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