Sunday, May 17, 2015

May 17, 2015

May 10, 2015
We had our Monday meeting at the office, which was great as usual.  We had a special luncheon for the 3 people who will be leaving for home in the next 8-10 days.  We had pulled pork sandwiches and jello salad.  It was nice.  We got right into work after the luncheon.  We have studied hard each day so that we will be prepared when the Clements leave.  It rained so hard today, we couldn't believe how fast it came down and made small rivers in the parking lot.

The water is up to the top of the sidewalks and was pouring off the roof
We hurried back to Batavia to go with the Elders to visit Carla and another investigator.  The investigator had to cancel, but Carla was available and we had a good visit.  She is a nurse and has been out of work because of health reasons.  She is now well enough to go back to work.  She is a very nice lady.
May 11, 2015
We spent the day training and accomplished many things.  We were back in Batavia in time for me to attend the Relief Society Enrichment.  It was centered around visiting teaching and the RS President had done a lot of nice things for the ladies.  It is sad that only about 9 people showed up; but it was nice for the 9.
May 13, 2015
We had zone conference in Batavia today and stayed here to help with that.  We fed the zone baked potatoes with toppings.  I made beef stroganoff and broccoli cheese topping.  There was also chili and sour cream with cheese.  The Elders (our zone doesn't have any sisters in it at this time) made ‘garbage plates’ out of the meal.  They mashed their potato down and then added all of the toppings to it.  I think they weighed (the plates) about 6-7 pounds when they were filled.  It was a lot of food and they loved it.  The Elders all say that they have gained weight on their mission, but they work so hard I doubt it.  They are always doing service here.  The people expect them to help do yard work, move furniture, paint fences, etc.  I can’t believe how quickly the town has cleaned up their yards. 
Our Zone
 One day things were covered in snow and grime and the next week they were well kept and green.  It is so beautiful here!
May 14, 2015
We spent the entire day at the office again.  It is getting a little more understandable.  I haven’t ever taken any courses in accounting, and now I wish that I had a little bit of it.  However, there are online helps with the computer program.  (and I will have Sister Clements phone number)  Elder and Sister Clements are going back to Phoenix to their 9 children.  (I think a couple of them aren’t in Phoenix)  She says that they are going to put their home up for sale when they get home.  When they bought it they were in a good area, but as the town has expanded and the years have passed, it isn’t in a very good neighborhood.  She also says that it is too big for them now.  After living in the Young home, she has probably gotten used to a more condensed, smaller life style. 
We stopped by the hospital to see Sister Karol.  She has stage 4 small cell carcinoma in the abdomen.  She has had several chemotherapy sessions this week and had been given Ativan for the nausea.  She didn’t even wake up with them came in and took a blood test from her finger.  She was really sleeping soundly.  Her husband is very vigilant.  He doesn’t leave very often and he has a great attitude. 
There is a large park in Rochester (a few blocks from Strong Memorial Hospital) called Highland Park.  They are having their ‘lilac festival’ now.  I wanted to stop and look at it as we went by to go the hospital, but there was such a huge crowd and no parking we changed our minds.  People have told us that there are so many colors and varieties of lilacs there.  The festival looks a little like the Idaho State Fair.  There were booths and vendors and people everywhere.  Maybe we will go to the park and see the lilacs after the festival is over. 
Today is Jill’s birthday.  She is 34, I believe.  It doesn't seem possible that many years have passed.  I sure haven’t aged!!  Have I??  (you better believe it!!)  It has been such a blessing to have such a wonderful, caring and fun daughter!  Thank you!
May 15, 2015
We were able to take the Elders to the Temple today.  It was great!  We were in the session with Elder Brent H. Nielson from the 70.  He and his brother were visiting the Temple.  On the way home we listened to his conference talk from April conference about ‘waiting for the prodigal’.  He told the story of waiting for his sister to return to the church.  What a great talk!  Our temple session had 4 sisters and 8 brothers.  While we were at the MTC in Provo we were told that the Provo temple is the busiest temple in the world.  We went one night after class and there were people waiting everywhere to do anything for which there was a need.  It’s too bad that the Palmyra temple doesn't have that kind of patronage.  It is a very beautiful, small temple.  
What a handsome guy!

On the Temple grounds
The summer months here are much busier because of tourism and the Hill Cumorah pageant.  I am excited to see the pageant.  Elder Clement told us that the 2 nights prior to the opening of the pageant that people can go with a much smaller crowd to the dress rehearsals.  He said that the hecklers aren't there for the rehearsals and it is nice.  I guess that there are paid hecklers that come and make a fuss at the pageant each year.  They aren't sure why they are doing it, just that they were paid to come and do it.  Sister Kennedy said that she brought a non-member to it last year and the non-member was very disgusted at the way the hecklers were acting and thought they were very disrespectful of anyone’s religions or beliefs.  So, in some instances the heckling brings non-members closer to the truth. LOL
We visited the Sacred Grove after the Temple and enjoyed our time there.  We are documenting the seasons by standing by the sign (notice-winter, spring, and now it looks like summer)
Elder Lavin, Elder Glenn, Elder Longhurst, Elder Boatman

Looking out at the Smith farm
I've had trouble sleeping this week and it seems crazy.  I’m plenty tired when I go to bed, and then I just lay there—wishing for sleep.  Becky gave me some sleeping pills while we were in Salt Lake that really do work (except for this week) called 5-HTP.  They have helped previously, but this week I have the STUBBORN—no sleeping problem.  I guess it’s hard to just get too relaxed—we must worry! (all women, it’s our job)
May 16, 2015
We decided to go visit a place we wondered about taking our kids to when they visit.  (Yahoo, Chris, Cindy, and Tessa are coming in June and Annette, Rob and the kids are coming in July—Brad and Sara are trying to decide when they can come and I think Jill and Ryan will come in the fall and Greg and Jackie may come next year)  Everyone is welcome!  Well, we went to a dairy that milks cows 24/7.  They have 2,000 cows and they milk them 4 times a day.  It was a pretty great set up.  The cows get on and off a carousel by themselves.  I know, a cow merry go-round.  We were pretty amazed at how fast they loaded and unloaded without any prodding.  We now think that the kids will like this place. 

They can only go in head first and lay in the sand--thus keeping it clean  Wow!
Sad to say, but I’m sure that the bus tour won’t be stopping there for our friends that are coming the end of May.  I will post some pictures for you so you won’t feel left out of this great tourist spot.
Oh, I know this will shock you, but we stopped at a garage sale on the way to the dairy.  Dennis bought 5 fishing poles for $10.  They all have reels, etc.  He thought he better be prepared for Rob and Karsten to visit.  They both LOVE to fish.  There is so much water here—there must be fish!  We don’t know how much a license is to fish, but there are 2 days in June that are free for anyone to fish.  Maybe Dennis will dangle a line during those days.
We did a little shopping and fed the missionaries (6 of them) supper.  We enjoy being around the Elders, they are fun to talk with and they make us feel part of the group.  It’s so amazing how grown up they are when it comes to gospel topics and teaching, but how they are just kids in most other ways.  They have fun talking about their families, friends, and home.  (just like us)
May 17, 2015
We had church today and I gave the lesson in Relief Society on the Power of the Word.  We talked about how important the scriptures are and how we need to study them daily.  We talked about how it is important to do this with our families and how it is difficult to do it with children.  One of the sisters mentioned how she had taken papers and drawing pencils and given to her children during their study of the tree of life.  She had asked them to draw what they saw while she read about it.  (her husband isn’t a member) and she was surprised at how differently each saw it.  It thought that was a great idea.
We are going over to the Stake center tonight for a fireside.  The ‘Nashville Tribute Band’ will be presenting to us.  Everyone is excited to see them.  They are supposed to be very good.  Our Stake President is culturally minded.  Update:  They were wonderful!  They played for 2 hours straight.  They bore testimony, laughed, cried and were wonderfully gifted musicians.  It was a great concert!
I think they may be coming to Idaho Falls and Sandy Downs in Aug.  (at least that is what their website says)  It would be worth going and taking your families.

Next week he has arranged for Daniel Rona to come to do a fireside.  He is a Jewish Convert that takes tours into Jerusalem.

1.      Studying more on this mission than ever in our marriage.  During our study this week we read about charity by Elder Holland.  I don’t think I had thought  about it this way before and it touched me.  I remember always hearing about ‘Charity never faileth’, etc.  (the theme for the Relief Society) and wondering about it.  We just finished reading ‘Christ and the New Covenant’ by Jeffrey R. Holland.  He explains that scripture differently than I have ever thought of it.  He says there are 2 ways to interpret the scripture.  I had such an overwhelming love and joy as I tried to comprehend what this means.
·        We need to be merciful, forgiving and have love for others as Christ’s disciples.  We should all try to love as the Savior loved, showing pure, redeeming compassion for all.  Unfortunately, few, if any, mortals have been entirely successful in this endeavor, but it is an invitation that all should try to meet.
·        The greater definition of the ‘pure love of Christ’ is what Christ totally succeeded in demonstrating toward us.  True charity has been known only once.  It is shown perfectly and purely in Christ’s unfailing. ultimate, and atoning love for us.  It is Christ’s love for us  that suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not.  It is his love for us that is not ‘puffed up’ . . not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.  It is His love for us that beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  It is as demonstrated in Christ that ‘charity never faileth’.  It is that charity—his pure love for us—without which we would be nothing, hopeless, of all men and women most miserable.  Truly, those found possessed of the blessing of his love at the last day—the Atonement , the Resurrection, eternal life, eternal promise—surely it shall be well with them.

Update on Brent:  He seems to be improving daily (at least it seems that way from here)  They are making him exercise and he appears to be gaining strength a little at a time.  His progress is such a blessing.  Jana, his daughter, graduated from college yesterday and they were able to see it on the internet.  (what a wonderful world we live in, right?)
Update:  I was able to visit with him on the phone Sunday evening.  He sounded so good and had his usual wit about him.  He is getting a little pneumonia, but the Dr. are treating it now.  He said a few interesting things to me on the phone.  He didn't remember that I had come to see him in April.  He did remember that Dennis was there and gave him a blessing along with a male nurse.  (which did happen)  He says that during the blessing he could see things from the ceiling and that he wondered what was hidden in the lights or what all the keg looking things were.  He wondered if he had been transported to a brewery.  He said that he wasn't clear on other things as well.  He felt that he had the surgery in Billings, was transported from Rexburg and saw some other things on the way to the airport.  He thanked me for coming to see him and said that it meant alot to him.  He also said, "I do want to come see you in New York."  I asked him, "do you remember shaking your head yes when I asked you to recover and come and visit me in New York?"  He remembered doing that and again verified that he had meant that.  I was so thrilled to talk to him again!

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