Sunday, April 24, 2011
This is Sister Carrie from the Old Oaks Ward who was recently baptized. She got baptized Saturday April 2nd and has gone to do baptisms in the temple the last 2 Saturdays. She has such a love for the Savior and I am blessed to know her.
Meridian Magazine - Because He Lives
"Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won't stay there." (C.W. Hall) That's the opening line in this short article by Vickey Pahnke Taylor that she wrote for Meridian Magazine. I hope you will all read it and feel uplifted by it like I did. Jesus Christ is Truth and He is Light! I am so blessed to have a faith and a testimony of this Truth, He is not here, for He is risen! And because of that single event in the history of mankind, we too, will rise from the grave and be resurrected! Halleluia!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Here are the buds of my faith tree that Scott and I planted last summer. In the heat of summer. Not the best time to plant a tree. The week we were to be at the MTC starting our mission to Paraguay, we were instead at home dealing with my newly diagnosed multiple-sclerosis and had just finished 4 days of intranvenious doses of strong steriods and deeply disappointed that we couldn't go to Paraguay. We were still unsure of what to do. I asked Scott if we could plant a tree in our back yard to remind us of our faith in the Lord and to remind me to TRUST IN HIM. I figured that He knew I had MS when we were called to go on a mission and that we could still go. A few weeks later we got a new call to Houston and were on our way.
Utah has had a hard winter this year. I've asked Pete a few times how my tree was doing. He sent me this picture of the buds that have made it through the spring snow storms. Sometimes you think you've made it through challenges only to realize that those tough times have strengthened you to make it through the next set of challenges. To prepare for greater blessings that the Lord stands waiting to give all of His children. I have felt the Lord's tender mercies in my life abundantly, especially this past year. Looking back over the last several years I've realized that I have been dealing with MS symptoms for quite some time. Perhaps we would never have gone on a mission if we'd known I had this disease. It's always been a great desire Scott and I have had to serve together. And it has been wonderful these past 8 1/2 months to have this experience together. Maybe not how we envisioned it, but wonderful still the same. And just like my budding tree in the midst of adversity, we look forward to the summer, to the future. I have a deep and abiding faith in my Heavenly Father and in my Savior Jesus Christ. The plan of Salvation is to bring us all back home to Them. Their gospel is one of peace and love. What a privlege it is to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to be in God's army of missionaries at this time.
Happy Easter this week.
We got to skype our kids last night, they were all together at my house having a barbecue. I am so grateful for their support and love for each other. Oh how I want to be with them ALL throughout the eternities. I know that because of Christ's Atonement we can be. That is my Hope, my hope in Christ. (Moroni 7:41)
Sunday, April 10, 2011
We had both of them this week, that's what! Yesterday Scott and I drove to an HEB grocery store that he saw they were having a "crawfish boil" in the parking lot last week, but he didn't dare buy any because he didn't know if I would eat it. So we got some yesterday! I thought it was a soup! you know, a boil...wouldn't you think soup? So when they handed me a huge bag of cooked crawfish with a couple of cobbetts of corn and some spuds in there, I said "where's the soup?" He just looked at me so weird, so then I said, "do I put this in water?" and he told me I could do anything I wanted with it. I was so confused. so then I asked if I needed to buy the spices to put in my "soup". He then told me they had already boiled it in the spices, and boy oh boy had they. the corn on the cob was so spicy it was red! The red potatoes were so spicy I thought I was eating mexican food, but it was pretty good. NOW the crawfish, it was so much work getting at it to eat, you had to crack it and then scoop the goo (I don't think it was poo, but I could be wrong) out of it and then you got the littlest amount of meat that you wondered why anyone ever bothered trying to eat it in the first place! That small amount in my fingers is what you got in one of the small crawfishes...would you pluralize that like that?
I stopped eating after I cut myself trying to crack it open. it really wasn't bad, Scott says it tasted a lot like lobster, he had to eat most of them because I gave up, but it was fun! (fun is all relative!)
Friday night we went out to dinner with the Walkers and then had them come up and play Yatzee, Sister Walker beat us all 2 times in a row but the fun thing was watching Scott program the computer so we wouldn't have to keep our own scores. I know, that doesn't seem like a missionary thing to do, but we assure the young missionaries, our rules are different than yours!!! I guess it pays to be old once in awhile.
5 of our best Spanish Sister missionaries went home this past week, I loved them all, it will be fun to see them some day in the future at missioary reunions. left to right: Sister Wardle from Roy, Ut, Sister Taets from Phoenix, AZ, sister Maylett from VA, me, Sister Christensen from UT I think, and Sister Naufahu-Talikai from CA. Unfortuantely we only got in one Spanish Sister this transfer so it makes for interesting transfers. In May we get 5 in though! Plus some English and Spanish Elders. I think doing transfers is a lot like rearranging visiting teaching, it just causes this huge domino affect.
That's a lot of missionaries leaving! the next 3 transfers more than that leave each time. It's amazing that we've only been here 8 months and we just have such tender feelings for all of these people. One of the fruits of missionary work is feeling an outpouring of love for those you work with, members, investigators and missionaries. I AM SO THANKFUL to be doing what I'm doing right now and having the experiences I'm having, it's truly a blessing.
you know those in front, except Sister Thomas, back row is Elder Thomas, Elder Lemmon, Sister and President Hansen, Elder Stone, Nielsen, Anderson and Barlow.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Last Monday we had a farewell dinner for the Thomas' (far right on couch and and in back) and to officially welcome Sister Nance (sitting on couch next to Sister Hansen)who came March 11. I tell you that's one thing about a mission, there is so much coming and going sometimes it's interesting trying to keep track of it all. Which is one of my job descriptions, I do keep track of it all in IMOS on the tracking board. IMOS is the church's computer system that tracks everything from new missionaries arriving to reminding me of who is leaving. It knows where every missionary lives and their phone numbers. Of course we have to plug in this information but it is pretty slick and really not that much work. If you were doing it all by hand the old fashioned way it would take days of typing what a computer can generate in minutes.
Sister Young's daughter was here visiting her mom, she took the above picture for us. Here she is below visiting me in my apartment. It's a good thing Elder Stringfellow arrived when he did, otherwise it would not have been a pretty site (me, not you Margaret). there's a reason you don't take pictures of yourself that close up as you get older (me, not you Margaret!!!). Thank you so much Margaret for your sweet note and the beautiful piece of fabric, I can't wait til I get home and figure out something fun to do with it.
I had a small (I hope) flare-up this past Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It always makes me nervous when I wake up with a new pain here or there because I don't know if it's going to be a full blown ordeal like last June and October or if it will come and go in a few days. I'm still learning about my MS and how to deal with it. I know that it is very individual for everyone, the symptoms and the treatments. I would like to explore different options of treating it, but until the mission is over I am treating symptoms as they come with the drug neurontin for nerve pain and with steroids when the pain gets real bad. I am on that shot for MS, copaxone, that's supposed to slow down the progression of the disease, but I just don't have enough experience or faith in it yet to trust that it is really helping me. Though I do continue to take it out of pure love for my husband and mother who both really want me to stay on it.
Scott told me that I needed to totally take off the weekend and do nothing but rest and stay off my feet and try to get over the cold I've had for a week and see if the pain in my hips would go away. I think it helped because tonight I feel a lot better than I did last week.
I am so grateful for the spiritual rejuvenation of Conference this weekend as well. I love it when I can just sit down and have this spiritual feast without any interruptions and be able to bask in the Spirit. It seemed like every talk was just for me. But I have to tell you, I don't recall ever hearing a talk on "pain" before and it felt like it was JUST FOR ME(and for you David)! I do know that our Heavenly Father is very aware of everyone of us. He stands ready and willing to bless us with His choicest blessings. I know that our trials and challenges are sometimes blessings in disguise, that they can bring us closer to our Heavenly Father, our faith can be deepened, our resolve will be stronger to choose God over Satan. It is always a CHOICE. I can't wait to read and listen to these talks again. Unfortuantely, one of my symptoms of MS is short term memory problems. Sometimes it's scary to me when I can't remember something I just heard 5 minutes ago. But I do remember how I felt when I heard it. And I can recall it when I'm given reminders. I am so thankful for a kind and patient husband and a kind and patient Heavenly Father who both are so willing to be there for me and help me in any way they can. I am blessed in so many ways.