Friday, July 21, 2017

My Go-To Scripture Always Comes in Handy

When I joined the Church in 1974 the first scripture I memorized was Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

When I saw Spiderman I was struck by the scene where Tony Stark tells Peter Parker "I'm taking back the suit" And Peter says, "I am nothing without the suit!"  Now here is where I may lose you.  I have loved teaching Seminary.  And online Seminary is a bit of a different calling than early morning--it is an intense calling. And for those three years, I was called to do other things at the same time, but Seminary was the biggest part--AND I LOVED IT.  And now for me it is over.  

Let me explain:   Allan and I have been trying to decide when we were going to serve a full-time mission, and after prayer and a great deal of thought, we felt now was the time--so I needed to be released.   When I taught online Seminary it engulfed my time and my life for 3 years, and now feel somewhat like Peter Parker and in my mind find myself thinking, "I am nothing WITHOUT SEMINARY."  Because I love learning and I love teaching, I will never regret any part of it.  Yes, I became a bit of a hermit while teaching, but I am so grateful for the 4 years of early morning and the 3 years of on-line.  

So now here I sit, the papers are in for our mission.  (Yes, I have been a service missionary for almost 2 years and have loved it very much--serving as my husband's companion (THE BEST)--but it hasn't been full time, so this new experience will be different!

We have requested to serve a 6 month mission from home and are now waiting for the call.  (6 months because there are things we are waiting to hear about and can't commit right now to more than 6 months)  With this new call, life will change.  And whenever there is change, doubt sets in:   Can I do this?  Am I ready?  (Yes, I know, believe me, I can quote the scriptures, I have given the encouragement to others (including my own boys--"of course, you can do it!!!!"), but I wonder what if I AM NOT AS GOOD ENOUGH AS SO AND SO...  We had the missionaries in our home last night and I love their enthusiasm for the work and their love of people. I have felt that love and pray that I will be blessed with eyes that see others as the Lord sees them--that has not always been easy for me and is one of the things that scares me.

When we were being interviewed our Stake President asked, "I know you have requested serving from home, but what if you are asked to serve somewhere else?"  

With no hesitation, our answer in unison--"We'll go wherever!"  That's a no-brainer!  And we will!

I think about missing my children/grandchildren and the greats, but in a way it won't be any different--I miss them now and don't get to see them as often as I would like.  

I know the Lord will bless me, and I can do this.  I just have to trust--why I'm grateful I memorized that scripture all those years ago!!!   These two years as a service missionary have prepared me and have been great training for whatever lies ahead.  Don't you just love how the Lord prepares us!!!

Sidenote:  I had a little procedure done on my nose and face the other day.  First of all, I need to tell whichever one of my children had a procedure that involved liquid nitrogen where something was frozen off, I AM SO SORRY!!!  I don't remember you complaining but I should have taken you home and sat by your bed and made sure you were okay.  It was PRETTY DARN PAINFUL!!!!  Secondly,  it isn't terribly comforting when the doctor says he's going to cut something off your nose and you may not like how it looks but you'll probably like it better than the way it looks now!!!!  Seriously, I know I am not in contention for Mrs. America, but I still have a little bit of concern about how I look ; )  I felt like he dug through my nostril clear through to the other nostril.  



Saturday, July 8, 2017

Temple Trip

The Regina Temple is closed, so we decided to go on a trip to visit family and go to a few temples along the way.  Our schedule was a little crazy.  It was a lot of fun. I am one lucky woman to have a fabulous husband who is willing to drive anywhere.  He has energy that is far greater than mine.

I had spent the week getting things together because we had a busy weekend with the Seminary dinner/recognition night and then our trip out to Fort Frances on Sunday.  I felt ready and got up early so we could get on the road. 

We drove to Kansas City on Monday, June 26th.  Our MP had told Allan about a monument we might want to visit in Kansas City so after doing a little research we found it.  It is a monument to the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon.  

We got to our hotel and the next morning Allan had to go to the terminal dark and early, and then he picked me up and we headed to the Kansas City Temple.  One of the things we did as we were driving to each temple was read a little about the temple in this book by Chad Hawkins entitled,  "Temples of the New Millennium: Facts, Stories, and Miracles from the First 150 Temples"  The stories were great and we learned a little about each one.  

We spent quite a bit of time here at this temple--It was a wonderful experience.  It is such a beautiful temple.  

We had snacks in the car so when we finished at the temple, we drove off to St. Louis.  It was kind of fun because this was familiar territory--one of our boys lived in Missouri when he went to the University of Missouri at Columbia for school.

We had no idea the St. Louis temple was as big as it was.  It was another beauty.  Two things to notice--the arch in the waterfall ; )  And, isn't that steeple gorgeous!

After the temple, we went to I-Hop for Dinner.  Yes, I had breakfast and it was delicious!!!

We checked into our hotel and got to bed because we knew we had to get up early the next morning to make the long drive to Memphis.  It had been a number of years since we had been in Tennessee--actually Allan served his mission in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia.  Many years ago we visited Dollywood in Pigeon Forge.  I know the humidity was a killer on this trip, but the great beauty of it all was wonderful lush green trees EVERYWHERE!!!  The foilage outside the temple was so pretty--love this magnolia "tree" or bush (I'm not sure).   Yes, the Memphis Temple is very similar to the Regina one, but I love the stone on this one.   There were different painting inside this temple--some I had never seen. When we went in one of the sisters told us that it was closing soon because of renovations, so I'm sure glad we got a chance to visit.  I love the South--southern hospitality is defnitely A VERY REAL THING!!!!

We got into the car and headed to Baton Rouge--lots of rain, but it was still a pretty drive.  I hadn't been to Louisiana since I graduated from high school.  My graduation gift to myself was a trip to Pensacola, Florida, to visit my sister who was there because her husband was stationed at the Naval Base.

I know I probably sound like a broken record but it was another beautiful temple.  The chairs in the Celestial Room had beautiful gold carvings.

We got up very early the next day to make the drive to Houston.

Thanks to our Garmin it took us FOREVER to get to Houston.  I had been trying to figure out a way to go and see the Astros play.  When we first came up with our itinerary, the Astros were not going to be in town, and then it turned out they were going to be playing the Oakland A's--PERFECT.

We finally arrived at the temple, but we were so late, I was afraid we wouldn't make a session at the San Antonio temple, so we just had enough time to go in and do some work and then go out and take some pictures.  The grounds were amazing.  The temple had so much character.  I was so glad we were there.

We got to the San Antonio temple a little early--I had the wrong time in my head.  We ended up going to our hotel and get checked in and then came back for the session.  We had been to the temple before but had never been inside.  WOW.  It was amazing.

SIDENOTE #1:  On the 24th of June we had our Seminary Recognition night.  I have to admit it was sad for me as I will not be teaching Seminary any more.  I have taught for 3 years and will miss it so much.  I have to do my best to keep up with studying--I love learning!!!!

SIDENOTE #2:  Had a dinner at the Mission home with missionaries who were going home.  Such a great group.

Kyle's Graduation

Very nostalgic as the last child graduates from BYU.  I am happy that we don't have to worry about BYU tuition any more, but I will be sad not not have a child there.

We left on April 21st and headed for Utah.  Lots of snow in the mountains going through Bozeman.

When we drove through Idaho Falls we realized they were having the Open House for the rededication of the temple, so WHY NOT!  We stopped and went through, and it was beautiful.  The murals had been restored--we were so impressed

First stop when we got to Provo was See's Candy.  And yes, we got a pile!!!!

We met up with the boys for a late lunch.  So great to see them--even though it had only been a few months, it felt like it had been FOREVER.  

We then drove up to Bountiful to visit Priscilla and Richard.  It was so like old times, except we were in their beautiful new home.  We have been friends for years and we so love them.  I think we could have visited forever.  So much to get caught up with.  Only one thing would have made it better--if Richard and Allan could have grabbed a basketball and gone down to the Church and played a little HORSE!!!!  

Sunday night the boys came up and we all had dinner together.  Richard had to humour me and let me take some photos to make a little collage of him with the boys.  He delivered Brent back in 1985--by far the most spiritual delivery I ever had.  I don't think Richard could have picked Brent up today.

 And in 1991 he and Priscilla came to Brampton to visit, so they did a photo with his namesake then and another one on Sunday.

On Monday we headed out to go to Afton, Wyoming.  We had to make a quick stop to visit the Morgan's.  It is always fun to see them.  They fixed us a wonderful breakfast.  Goodness I love those people,

Let me just add here how incredibly grateful we are the wonderful people we have been blessed to have as friends.

The drive up to Afton was crazy--snow and more snow. We were a little concerned that we would not get back the next day, and, I am embarrassed to say we didn't have chains!!!

One of the things we wanted to do was drive up to Intermittent Springs.  Allan had read about it in USA Today a few months ago, so we figured while we were in Afton we would make the drive to see them.   Unfortunately the road was closed (I believe until May--like 3 or 4 days later!   Nowhere did I read that this was a possibility.

The site says:  ""The spring that breathes" - The Periodic spring is the largest of three intermittent springs in the world. From late August to May, the flow cycles on and off at regular, predictable intervals. The spring runs up to 100 cubic feet per second of clear, ice cold water for about 18 minutes. The water then begins to subside and gradually ceases altogether for 15-20minutes."  So wish we had a chance to see it!

We had dinner Monday night at the strangest Chinese restaurant.  At one point the waiter took away my silverware--I guess he figured I had eaten enough.  And then when the guy training him came out to help, he answered his phone and stood there on the phone right by our table!!!

Tuesday morning we went to the temple.  We figured it would be very much like our Winnipeg temple, and as far as we can tell, it probably will be.  The colors inside are beautiful--a lovely blue.  It is very small, but I have learned a long time ago, big or small you can do the same work in any of them.  We were so happy to attend.  

Only drawback to the photo--I think a beautiful sunny day because it would have been so much prettier with sunshine and blue skies.

When we got back to Provo on Tuesday night.  The kids came over and we played StockPile. Notice how Allan is concentrating on the game--no wonder he beat the rest of us!!!  Crazy but I can't remember getting anything to eat--AND THAT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE!!!

On Wednesday morning Allan had business up in Salt Lake so Kyle came and took me to the Provo Temple.   I wish I had kept track of how many times I have been to that temple.  I have had so many great experiences there.  One of my favorite things about attending in Provo--I always love when I see missionaries there!!!

On Wednesday night we went to Happy Sumo to celebrate Kyle's birthday.  Yes, it was earlier in the month, but we hadn't had a chance to celebrate together.  Fun times and good food.

After dinner we came back to our hotel and visited and then played "Head's Up". Best line of the evening, Brent was doing the category "Movies" and when the title came up, Kyle's description, "Worst movie ever. Pocahontas with blue people". Brent knew immediately "Avatar".  

Thursday was all about graduation.  Kyle was not jumping up and down to go to Commencement, but he humored us and went anyway.  I thought it was pretty wonderful that Heidi came.  It was important to her to be here for Kyle's graduation, and I know it meant a lot to him.  Brent was not able to be at Commencement, but was there for convocation get his diploma!  When we walked to the Marriott Center and all the flags are on display I was very disappointed because I couldn't find the Canadian flag, and I walked up and down a few times!!!!  Elder Holland presided and Elder Foster spoke.  I always wish I could take notes, but I love being able to just sit and listen.  I did appreciate when he said, "Never love anything that can't love you back"  A great thought!!!!

We went to Tucano's for dinner to celebrate.  It was delicious as always, but I ate way too much.  We had fun sharing memories of Kyle.  Because he is the youngest the kids had a great time sharing memories of when he was little.  They always have a GREAT time together.  I know Brent misses him not being in Utah.  (It is the first time Brent has lived there without any brothers or sisters there to visit with once in awhile)

Allan, Kyle, Brent, and I went to the movies to see "The Circle".  Not a great movie--reminded me in a lot of ways of Anti-Trust.

Friday was commencement.  I still laugh when I think of the "bat wings".  I had never seen them before, so we had to take this picture--too funny!

I love this picture of all the graduates!!!!  

I am so mad at myself for not getting the picture of them in front of the sign "Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve", but this one will have to do.  So proud of all my little graduates!!!!  The best part--each of them are AMAZING.  They are superb adults and are some of the least judgmental people I know.  

Before we headed out of town we went to lunch at PF Chang's.  We kissed the kids goodbye and headed out of town.  It was a FANTASTIC trip!!!

SIDENOTE:  I may end up moving this so it will be in chronological order, otherwise one day when I am REALLY old I will wonder what it is doing after Kiah's graduation ; )