Tuesday, March 31, 2009

General Conference

This possibly could be Dad's last General Conference Training. He starts his seventh year in his calling this week. I am looking so forward to going to General Conference. It is always such a special and exciting time for me. General Conference has always fallen on or near our Anniversary and my birthday, and I treasure the change of pace and the uplifting messages we receive. Having an opportunity to experience conference in the Conference Center (at one time the Tabernacle) had always been a dream for me and with dad's calling we have had that wonderful opportunity many times. I feel so blessed through dad's devotion and dedication that has afforded us such rich and wonderful experiences. I am so grateful to have a knowledge of the Gospel and to know that these men are truly the Lord's annointed who have prayed and studied and prepared the messages that He would have them give to us at this time. With the challenges in the world today what a blessing for us to receive the guidance we will receive this weekend. I also look forward to being with Talon and Annie, Mikael and Nathan. I plan on attending the temple, and visiting the Art and History Museum- and seeing Ben's new painting that he said is actually hanging in the entrance of the Conference Center, going to lunch with my sisters, seeing friends and just spending time with DAD! I just feel so grateful for this opportunity. I will share with you what I was personally taught through the spirit if it is not to personal and I would love to hear what you learned through the spirit also. I have asked my institute classes to share next week and I am looking forward to hearing their responses, it would be nice to hear from you each also. I love you all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tall Tales of Mikael

If you read Mikael's blog of fears going into last weekend, my perspective was a little different. When I talked to her, her concern was, "What if I don't like his parents?" When I told dad this he just laughed and said, "she's not worried about whether they like her rather if she likes them." The more I thought about it, it was a very legitmate concern. But not worry after all, they loved her- Nathan reassured me of that several times as did his mother, and she liked them. But how could you not love Mikael- she is just her self and a wonderful self at that. I loved that she still crossed her EYE at Nathan in front of his parents at dinner, yet had good table manners. It is fun to watch Nathan with her, his is so adoring of her. I think Mikael responds in kind. It will be fun to have everyone together Moab weekend (dad is being brave about not being able to be with us all- you might send him your love and thoughts before the journey).

We also had a great time with Annie and Talon. Getting to see their beautiful new home was exciting. They are able to close on it this week- it is the beginning of a great adventure for their new family! With Brittani and Grant having things work out so smoothly in selling and being able to get into their new home, Talon and Annie's new home and for the arrival of Elijah, Andrew and Stephanie in their lovely new home in a place that they love, Perry and Christi having a new home that they love, I just can't help feeling so grateful for the blessings our family has received. Decota has improved so much since last year, Scott is loving his job and has had these opportunities to learn and progress, Mikael is drawing near the end of school with new exciting expriences of student teaching around the corner, and Johnathon is seeing success in his work, we are so very blessed as a family. Thank you all for being the wonderful family that you are and living the gospel so completely. I love you all.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Flu or Fibromyalgia

The last few days have been pretty miserable. I have ached so much. There have not been any other symptoms really except bad headaches. At first I was sure I was getting the flu. Now I am not so sure. It seems like a bad case of the fibro full force. I just have felt so engeryless and hurtso much. I tried to ignore it for several days, still working out, but by afternooon yesterday it wasn't going to let me keep going. I went to bed, unfortunately missing Nanny and Papas anniversary dinner. Dad took Chelsey as his date and he really enjoyed that. Today I just have stayed low, not aching as much but just not feeling well either. I was doing so well, but I guess it is going to be a lifelong shadow.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

How grateful I am for my expriences

Dad and I had a wonderful experience this weekend. He has tried to create an atmosphere with his councils where the Stake Presidents, Mission President and Temple President and their wives can get to know each other more intimately. Last month we went to Lubbock and his council there, consisting of those mentioned above all met in the Temple for an Endowment session and then that evening we went to the Mission President's home for a dinner and time to just visit and get to know each other. It turned out to be a wonderful experience. This weekend he did pretty much the same thing with his two New Mexico councils consisting of Farmington, Kirtland, Bloomfield, Durango, Gallup, Grants, and then all the ABQ Stakes, Sanata Fe, Los Lunas, Stakes. We met for a 3:00pm endowment session, then the Temple President arranged for the Cafeteria to fix a dinner where it was served in a special room in the temple. The Stake Presidents after the dinner had the opportunity to ask the Temple President any questions about the temple they wanted. Most of the questions were regarding policy, etc. The wives also had opportunities to ask questions. There was wonderful sacred feeling there. After that we all went over to the Mission President home and President Anderson and Sister Anderson were able to take time to tell the Stake Presidents and their wives about income, outgo, transfers, and dad told about the assigning of missionaries and how some missionaries assigned to their Stakes were there to learn from their Bishops, them, or other Priesthood Leaders. When you have been immersed in missionary work like our family has sometime you forget that others have know idea about the workings of a mission. They seemed to really enjoy learning and hearing the testimonies of the power of missionary work. It was a wonderful, spiritual day and evening. It was great for me to get to know the Stake Presidents and their wives also since dad spend much time and training with them. Today I got up and left at 6:30 am to drive home so that I could be at our church because I am teaching the Teachings for our Time in Relief Society. I debated whether to get a subsitute but for some reason I felt I needed to teach. Probably because last month I had a sub while we were in Washington and next month it will be the week of Moab. Any way, the spirit also was very strong in R.S. today. The sisters shared tender feelings and thoughts and even though I only was able to give one fourth of what I prepared from his talk, we learned and shared our testimonies of the importance of Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament. If you have not read Elder Oaks address from last conference please read it, it is powerful and sweet. If any of you are interested in my thoughts and outline I would be glad to send it to you. In his talk he tells us that Sacrament meeting is the most important meeting in the church. I have a testimoy of that and his talk gives us ideas how we can make it a sacred meeting- even with children. One sister asked me to share an experience having small children and going to sacrament meeting. I told them that I know how hard it can be. That dad had never sat with us since Chanel was one year old. Later I started thinking it was before that because he was Ward Cleck before he was put in the Bishopbric and back then they sat on the stand and told notes of the meeting. So I guess in reality he has never consistently sat with me and children, (except a few months after our mission). I told of how hard it was, some times I was exhausted, frustrated, frazzled, but then I bore testimony that I knew that our family was blessed deeply for attending our Sacrament meetings regularly and through that experience I knew that Heavenly Father knew of me and my struggles at times, but that he accepted my efforts to be there and that it assured me of a knowledge of his love for me. I know each of you are in the time of your lives when Sacrament meeting may seem more of a battle than a spiritual feast, but I just want you to know that Heavenly Father will bless you for your consistent devotion, this I have a testimony of!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sister Allred, Sister Cook, Sister Lifferth

Last week was a busy but great one. Thursday dad and I picked up the first counselors of each of the General Auxiliary Presidencies. We brought them to our house and Gail Kelley helped me prepare a luncheon for them including three of the four Stake Presidents and their wives that were attending the meetings that night. Sister Slyvia Allred from the Relief Society, Sister Mary Cook from the Young Womens, and Sister Margaret Lifferth from the Primary. We had a very nice luncheon that they seemed to enjoy and were able to visit with the Stake Presidents about concerns and needs for our area. Afterwards dad took them to their hotel to freshen up and prepare for their afternoon meetings. They began by each having focus groups. Sister Allred with Young Single Adults, the others with Leaders. Then the 6:00 meeting they had with just Stake Leaders and the 7-9:00 meeting with all the Ward and Stake Presidencies and Priesthood Leaders. It was a long day for them. I had a bag prepared for them with an apple, orange, goodies and cookies and a little bag of bath salts they could use to relax after it all. The next morning dad and I picked them up about 8:00 and drove them to ABQ for a luncheon and training over there. It was interesting to learn and talk to them on the way. Of course Sister Allred was born and raised in El Salavdor. She joined the church with her sister at 15, served a mission where she met her husband as a missionary and they later reunitied at BYU. Her husband had been called as MTC President in Dominican Republic and they had only been there three months when she received the call to be a counselor to Sister Beck, so they moved back and he was released. Sister Cook was 37 when se married her husband. His wife had passed away four years earlier from Breast Cancer. They had four children the oldest being just 3 years younger than her. I asked dad if he would like to marry someone just three years old than Chanel right now. It didn't seem to appealing, but who knows if I wasn't around. They were the first Mission Presidents in Mongolia and he was a seventy. Sister Lifferth we didn't get to hear much about her. She was more on the quiet side. Her husband is the managing director of all Welfare for the church, that means humanitarian and all. It sounds fascinating and alot of hard work. They all were lovely, wonderful women. We had lunch Friday at a Stake Presidents house. It was very nice. She had flown in her two daughters to help. I had wished I had offered to have Brittani, Chelsey, and Christi help, but I am always afraid it will just be to much extra work. It would have been fun for them to meet the sisters. After the luncheon we went for a quick tour of the temple and then on to the same schedule as the day before. On Saturday dad had to get them to the airport by 5:00am to fly to Pheonix were they were doing a morning training and then they drove to Tucson for training that night, and then drove back to Phoenix that night. So I am sure they were exhausted by the time it was all finished. Sister Lifferth then had to fly to Dallas on Sunday for Scout meetings on Monday and Tuesday. What a schedule! Dad and I flew to Lubbock, TX. We had dinner with the Mission President and his wife and then he had a council meeting on Sunday. We got home pretty early, around 6:00pm which wasn't bad at all. It was nice to spend time with dad. The last few weeks have been very pressured and busy with several unexpected things coming up, so hopefully he can relax a little, even though he has many assignments in the next few months. I had prepared my institute lesson last week because I knew I wouldn't be able to do much. Yesterday I worked on it some more until late night, got up and got ready this morning to come to find out it had been cancelled because of snow. So today I am catching up on things that have been waiting. Even though the streets are clear I am planning on Institue being cancelled tonight also. There is always plenty to do!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There is always a challenge to be faced

Yesterday I started up with institute again. It seems that for the last week I have been very nervous and anxious over starting the routine again. I loved it last semester, learned so much, and found it very challenging. I am not so sure I was so ready for it this time. I guess because I realize how very much time it takes and wasn't sure what my classes would end up like, and just the demanding routine of it all. Any way my Adult class went wonderfully. I have several new students, the participation was great and the spirit was there. My night class went pretty well considering that many of the students didn't even know what the reading material would be. But it sure is hard to have much discussion when they haven't read the material and you are trying to cover 10 chapters in an hour and half. This semester I did set down some rules. I have a basket just out side the door with a sign on it asking them to leave their cell phones turned off and left in the basket. Last semester I had about 40 kids and many times they would go in and out of the class to talk or text or whatever. At the end it became very frustrating. So I decided we needed to set up some rules from the beginning. I had a cute basket and made a poem that hung from the handle that said "Now you lay me down to sleep, May my keys give rest & keep, If I'm silenced before I wake, A more interesting message will I make! Only one cell phone was left in but the others must have been turned off because I didn't have people going in and out. I had 20 kids show up. Some from last year and about half new ones. I also have several that signed up that didn't show up. We will see how many I end up with. It usually varies from class to class because kids come in and out, boy friends and girl friends break up, etc, etc. It was a much easier size to deal with. It will be interesting to figure out the dynamics of this class. I had one girl to my very right on the front row read another book the whole time, that is discouraging. I would ask her to read a scripture and she would jump right in. After she told me she is a shut-in which I am not sure what she meant, but she is going to practice a song for next weeks class. Maybe I can get her a little more involved. This can be very challenging, yet fulfilling. I just keep praying that I can find ways to touch hearts and help them love the scriptures. I had promptings for quite a while that I needed to do this, but many times I wonder why. It probably is so that I can learn the Book of Mormon myself. I just pray that I can be useful and helpful as I do this.