Missionary Update

So here’s an update from my last post about missionary efforts…

The new building’s Open House came and went, I attended, but not with either of these ladies to which I extended an invitation. I’m not sure I had the right number for Mariama, but called several times to let her know I hadn’t forgotten and was there to take her to it if she’d like. I got a message at work the day before saying that she wasn’t feeling well and wouldn’t be able to go with me. Bummer. Harris was out of town that weekend at a Tae Kwon Do tournament so just Hunter, Hayden and I went to see what it the Open House was all about.

It was presented very well…. Nice posters with pictures, explanations about different rooms’ purposes or organizations, volunteers from various wards manning each room ready to explain more to the visitors. It was there that I got to see what indexing actually was. Seems fairly simple, yet deciphering handwriting looks like it could be difficult at times though too. I really liked that in the chapel, all day, they had people from various wards present musical numbers in the chapel for people to listen to and feel the Spirit. I wish I could have stayed all day just for that because it looked like there were some really good ones in the lineup. I would have liked to have done something musical as well, but Harris wasn’t in town to keep an eye on the kids, plus I thought I’d be there with one of these ladies.

We didn’t stay long, but just explored the building some more. We weren’t dressed up and didn’t know everyone we saw so I wondered if some thought we were investigators or something. It’s always interesting going to things like that, even on Temple Square with all the missionaries there. Do they think we’re members or not? Do they just try to talk to everyone anyway?

I don’t see Mariama much anymore, as she works at another Y location, but she is very excited when she does see me. This last time I dropped Hayden off as I’m signing him in I get this big hug from her. She seems to be doing well and has a car now to get her to work. Thank goodness! It was quite a distance for her to walk!!

As for Dolly, she hasn’t asked anything church related lately, but I continue to try and be a good example and work hard. Maybe there will be something soon that I can invite them to and get the ball rolling again.

How are things going for you and your efforts?

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Missionary Moments

Along with the announcements and such at the beginning of Relief Society each Sunday we’ve recently been having “Missionary Moments” where anyone can share an experience during the past week where they’ve perhaps shared the gospel with someone.

This past Sunday I decided to share something that is developing at work. There is a lady (in her 70’s!) I work with often, named Dolly. She’s really great with the kids, kinda like a grandma to them. One particular family that comes in knows her well and goes to the same church that she attends. So she is religious and appreciates other religions. Her neighbors across the street happen to be LDS and she is good friends with them. Recently Dolly had some knee surgery and they would look in on her and often visit her anyway. There are 4 kids and one of the girls is getting baptized this June. I can’t remember how she found out I was LDS, but she brought it up one day and talked about how she went with the neighbor, Holly, to a R.S. Meeting during the week one time and all the ladies were so nice. She told me about the little girl getting baptized and asked what gift to give her. At first I was blank because the only baptisms I’ve been to lately have been boys so what do you give a girl?! I said that typically the parents would give the child their own set of scriptures, but you could give them a nice picture or go to the Church bookstore for more ideas. Later I thought about it more and suggested to her a bookmark, the girl loves to read, or, since Dolly is quite the seamstress, she could make a pretty, white shawl for the girl to wear to to church and she liked that idea.

Anyway, occasionally she’ll ask me something, most recently it was about how the Mormons differ from Catholics and at first I was all, “Lots of ways,” but then tried to think of similarities yet differences too. It was a brief conversation and I’m not sure I fully answered her question, but I appreciate the opportunity to try to do my missionary duty.

With the opening of our new building there is going to be a two-day Open House this next week that sounds amazing! It’s, of course, open to all and will have booths set up to explain things throughout the church on things like food storage, family history, each organization of the church, etc. Cool. I bet there will be a great turn out. We have nice invitations to give people we have in mind that would be interested. Dolly popped up in my head so I took one for her. At work when I had a moment I asked if her neighbor happened to give her one of these cards and they had already. (We need to coordinate our missionary efforts, I think) I explained more about what will be there and encouraged her to go. So I didn’t give the Open House invitation to her, but to…

Mariama. She started working at the YMCA a few weeks ago and is an interesting person. In her 60’s, from Ohio, very chatty, religious and has a good head on her shoulders. She won’t be working at that particular Y due to transportation issues, but I’ll probably see her still when I go workout. Anyway, I guess she heard it through the grapevine that I was LDS and talked about that a bit. I can’t remember specifics. She seemed really interested though so I pulled out that invitation and told her about it and encouraged her to go get some more answers there. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to go at the time, but talking to her this past week I offered to come pick her up and go to it with her if all works out with her work schedule and all. I was hoping to go anyway since it sounds like a big production, but it’d be great to bring someone too!

So the Lord has blessed me with situations where people come to me and help me open my mouth about the gospel rather than me having to initiate it. I haven’t been quite so afraid that way, but I still feel like I’m not answering their questions in the best way possible. I was also blessed with the ultimate compliment from Mariama the other day. She said she was really going to miss working with me and that I was the definition of a saint. She was telling another lady all this. She said, she’s quiet and doesn’t say much, but she let’s her light shine through her personality. She lives her religions, as it should be. She talked about how I am with my kids and that you won’t ever catch me gossiping. I’m a peacemaker and I don’t let outside things get to me, I just do what I do. Wow. I could feel I was blushing as she said all this, but it felt good to know that my light was being seen and that it was good and getting people’s attention. 🙂

It’s a lot to read, but I wanted to make sure I recorded these experiences somewhere. Hopefully there will be more developments to report in the coming weeks. Unfortunately though, if these ladies do join the church, neither of them will be in my ward!

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A New Building!

Tonight was the Dedication of the new church building in our area. The Church has been growing a lot! We’ve had several ward boundary changes, more are sure to come, over the years and recently created a new Stake! Several people that have lived in the same house for years and years have been in at least 3 different wards!

It’s pretty cool that this new Stake Center is ready now instead of in May as originally planned and we will start meeting there tomorrow at 11! The new time kinda makes things interesting for nap time so we’ll have to figure out what to do there. Hunter will be one of the first in the Primary to give a talk in the new building! He loves giving talks- this will be his 5th, I think!

The Dedication was pretty simple and only about 45 minutes. I didn’t know what to expect other than a special prayer. The Stake Presidency just bore their testimonies and talked about the building process and choosing the site and materials and such. Neat stuff. President Tolman emphasized the need to take care of our building as it should last us at least 50 years.

Afterwards we explored and just wandered the halls. We discovered this building has lots of bathrooms on either side. Yea! The colors (sort of a pinkish and maroon and dark wood) are the same as in the Branch Crossing building and the chapel looks identical, if not very similar as well. There’s a nice big gym with a pretty, shiny wooden floor. Nice stage area too. The auxiliary rooms are all nice and big. The baptismal font is part of the Relief Society room. The only real pianos are in the chapel and the Primary room. The Young Women and Relief Society rooms have these neat keyboards that can play the hymns with just a push of a button! The R.S. President told me about that and was like, “But we still need you! So don’t think you can escape!” So I guess I’ll have to figure this thing out! Easier to move around if necessary I guess. And at first I thought it was cool, but the more I thought about it the more I thought maybe not– the mother’s lounge is through one of the women’s bathrooms! I thought well that way you don’t have just anyone opening the door from the hall, but what if the husband or someone needs to get to the mom?! Perhaps it’s not a good idea then. There were only 2 chairs in there and we definitely need more than that, just in our ward alone! And the pavilion isn’t as big as I was imagining, but at least it’s got lights. Harris is disappointed there’s not a nice field area like at Hafer, but it looked like some sort of grassy area out there. We’ll have to look at it in the light.

Hunter and Hayden were being kind of loud and of course had to go to the bathroom in the middle of it, but it still was a neat experience to be there and hear the prayer asking a blessing on each auxiliary room, hallways, classrooms, offices, parking lot, etc. History in the making.

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Just Some Randomness Again…

In public bathrooms….

Which stall do you choose? Why?
I think it was on an Oprah show a long time ago where they talked about this. They said the safest to choose is either the first one or the last one because they have a wall on one side. People typically choose the second one though for some reason.

Do you put your purse and such on the floor or on a hook?
If there is a hook, I’d rather it be on the hook than on the floor, but I sometimes worry about some stranger’s arm reaching over the door and grabbing my bag and there I am with my pants down unable to run after the thief. Otherwise I guess it’s best to put it by the wall, hence the reason you’d want to be in the first or last stall.

If there is another person and one sink and they finish at the same time, do you hurry out to get to the sink first or wait and blow your nose or something to stall (especially if you made some embarrassing noises)?
For some reason I typically stall by using the time to blow my nose. I’m not sure why. I guess to be nice and let them go ahead and so it’s not weird just waiting for them to finish at the sink. Hence the next question…

If you are at the sink and people are waiting, do you rush or take your time? Do you risk them thinking, ‘Ewh,that was too fast. She didn’t wash good enough,’ or ‘Geez, she’s taking too long! Hurry up!’?
I think I try to be quick, but thorough to please those who want the rush, and those who want the clean.

I find it annoying how the paper towel dispensers are like tissue boxes where they are crammed in there so tight you rip through like five to get a decent amount of scraps to dry off with.

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Making Progress…. Or Not

I just wanted to write a few things about how Hunter and Hayden are doing just because and for the record.

We’re trying to do more to get Hunter more familiar with words and reading. Harris got him and Hayden the first volume in the “Your Baby Can Read” series. Maybe you are familiar with it? It’s had several infomercials on TV. Anyway, it’s just one of those really simple, repetitive movies that shows a word, reads the word, then shows a child or animal doing whatever the word is. It comes with these neat little flash cards that have the word on it and a part that slides out to show a picture demonstrating the word. As we went through them the first time, which was after watching the video several times, Hunter read, “elephant,” “tiger,” and “hi.” He’s maybe even reading more words than that now! He occasionally really likes working on writing his name. He’s gotten a lot better, but is already a perfectionist having to erase letters when they don’t quite look right. Hey, maybe we won’t have to get on to him about his handwriting like we do with Harris!

Another interesting tidbit about Hunter is he is a massive booger producer. It’s insane! He can actually blow his nose now, but this does not get those suckers out. You’ve gotta dig them out and they’re huge! Maybe half the size of your nail… the big pink part. They’re green too. Could this be a potential problem? How funny, going to the doctor because my son produces very large green boogers, often. Harris just picked Hunter’s nose last night and now I had to go and do it today! I don’t know how quick your nose produces boogers normally but something that size just seems like it should take a while to build up. I don’t know. It’s gross. Perhaps it has something to do with his ears. He, like me and my mom, have weird shaped ears inside. We produce a lot of wax and our ears clog easily. Could that effect the drainage therefore making these nasty things? What can you do about it?

Hayden can count to ten! Yea! He did it a while ago before only skipping 6, but then couldn’t for some reason and is doing it again. He recognizes some letters and colors too, but we need to do better about that. It’s fun watching him learn and grow, though sometimes he’s learning too much from his brothers. It’s great that kids are “sponges,” but do they have to soak up everything?!

Hayden had a check up recently and is about 34″ tall and 38 lbs. They had to take some blood to test for anemia and such which was new to me! Hunter never had to do this, but I bet he will now! Hayden whimpered some and was scared at first, but did okay. I made sure to look the other way so as not to pass out. Results came back and all is normal.

We had an exciting adventure in Kroger the last time. Hunter got whacked in the ear with Hayden’s jacket he was swinging around and then tripped somehow over my shoe and fell on the floor. I didn’t know if he was running and tripped and on the way down hit my shoe or ran and tripped on my shoe and somehow hit it with his mouth. His lip was bleeding so we had to hurry off to bathroom, but first had to go after Hayden who just wanders off and does not seem to care. Hunter may wander too, but he always comes back. Hayden just does his own thing. I rinsed out Hunter’s mouth, afraid it was his teeth but it was just his lip. I had him hold paper towels up to his mouth until it stopped bleeding, but even after it stopped he was scared to move it.

I was fine to begin with, but it doesn’t seem to matter where or how much something is bleeding; eventually I will feel lightheaded. I just had to hold on and get on with the last items, check out and get home. Then while checking out Hayden keeps going after the Cadbury egg in the little basket by the credit card machine. I take it away, tell him no several times yet somehow he still manages to show up with it in his hand once again trying to unwrap it. It’s finally too late, the wrapper is ripped and he’s torn a piece off. So we wait and buy it now, but I don’t give it to him. I say he can have it after dinner. He’s upset, but oh well. When he finally is allowed to eat it he doesn’t want it! What?! Daddy was happy to eat it. If it had been a caramel one I would have a put up a fight for it 🙂 Harris said I should not have given it to him at all, though not giving it to him right away was still good.

He also says to keep them in the cart not free roaming which is part of the reason it takes so freaking long at the store with them, but when they are in it they are mean to each other or mess with the food by throwing it out, using it as swords, stacking it up, etc. It’s SO frustrating. I don’t know what to do. I threaten that if they wander off they’ll be put in the cart so they hang on to the side of the cart and stay close, but it’s not long before they’re off racing down the aisle again.

Potty training Hayden has been a lot harder than potty training Hunter. I’m a little busier, plus Hayden doesn’t mind being messy. I was tough, but was able to sort of scare Hunter into it, at least pooping in the potty, because I’d make him stand in the shower after he pooped in his pants which he hated doing. Hayden is all about candy and cookies so I tell him that when he goes in the potty he can have a sucker. He gets excited about it sometimes, but rarely tells me when he needs to go. I just have to take him or watch out for any squatting being done. I really want him to be out of diapers/Pull-Ups soon. It’s expensive and I think he is capable of taking himself potty now. We’ll just keep trying.

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Gettin’ High….. On The Spirit

“Did not our hearts within us burn?”
“And we did liken the scriptures unto ourselves”
“That it may be for your profit and learning”

These were just a few scriptural phrases going through my mind after our combined Priesthood and Relief Society meeting a couple weeks ago. It was on scripture study and also how to create strong foundations, cornerstones and keystones for our “houses of order,” going along with the scripture in D&C 88.

What was weird though was that later that day I came across a link on Facebook for a blog that had suggestions for scripture reading and comments from other people about similar lessons on the scriptures this same day! Was this Churchwide and not just local inspiration? Perhaps a little of both….?

Anyway, it was presented very well. I certainly felt the Spirit and had to write this out to share. One of the Bishop’s counselors started the meeting off by talking about using our scriptures… actually using the BOOK. There’s something different and more meaningful about turning the pages of the sacred books than touching a small screen that gets you right to the verse zippy quick. They’re not saying using iPods, PDAs and things of that nature are bad to use, but there definitely is a better time and place for them. And many of our youth either have and use these devices or don’t have their scriptures with them at all at church. (It can make things interesting when you use them for early morning seminary though. Do you have multiple copies or carry them back and forth?) So it is encouraged that when doing scripture study we use our big heavy books and dive in.

The next part was presented by the Bishop and I really learned a lot. He defined what the foundation, cornerstone and keystone were and their importance to the structure as a whole. Then suggested things, individually and as families, that we can do to strengthen each part so one is not weaker than the other causing the other things to crumble. It was very interesting. We even have a nice little handout to review and remind us how to get our spiritual “houses in order.”

After it was over, I made a point to go to the Bishop and shake his hand and say, “Thank you. It was perfect.” It really was a great presentation. I felt a renewed strength and desire to do what is right though, unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t last long when we go back out in the world again. Hopefully we can stick with being consistent and then worry about quality later.

A week or two ago in Sacrament meeting the Primary Presidency spoke and emphasized scriptures as well. They’re trying to use them more frequently in Primary and sent home a chart to color in or put a sticker on each day you read as a family and Hunter loves it. He’s a good reminder, not always about what I want him to though- he gets me in trouble with Harris sometimes when he points out that I haven’t done something yet that Harris wants me to.

Harris J. was nervous to pass the sacrament that first time, and may still be, but I’m surprised they didn’t coach him beforehand! I always pictured them with the new Deacons in front of a chalkboard drawing out the “passing route” like a coach drawing football plays. Hmmm, I guess they don’t do that. Hopefully he gets things figured out soon and feels more comfortable. Hayden was really excited about it and kept saying, “I see Harris!” Such fun moments.

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We’re Alive!

Howdy to all you who may still keep up with our blog, although there is nothing to keep up with!

It has been quite a while huh? I’ve just been busy with work and still trying to organize my life while stressing about it all too that I haven’t been good about blogging. I think I never really was good about blogging anyway though. I didn’t write regularly and certainly didn’t put all the fun, frivolous stuff other popular bloggers do.

So what’s new? Probably not a whole lot. Still working at the YMCA or “the Y” as they are trying to call it now to go along with what people say, though I rarely would call it that because to me “the Y” is BYU and probably forever will be. I’m still suffering from allergies, of course. I have quit the allergy shots though 1) because I couldn’t tell if it was making much of a difference. Harris says so, but I don’t know and 2) because we can’t afford to pay for another round of the serum. So I’m left to observe and see how I do without it and control what I can, like with my food allergies. Thanks to a friend I have found some egg substitute powder stuff I use when making things like cakes, muffins, cupcakes etc that require eggs. It works just fine and saves me from getting hives on my arms. If it’s not something I made myself, I either avoid it or try not to eat much of it. So it’s really not that bad, at least not as bad as it is for others with food allergies. My skin has just been really dry since it’s finally been colder and drier air. Kinda makes me wonder how I’d be in Utah. Bring lots of lotion I guess!

I’m still terrible about working out regularly. I hate how we have all this fine stuff, lots of options, but I don’t use them!! So I’m still working on it. If we really do get to my family reunion I really hope I look better than I do now, especially because I need to fit into SOMETHING decent during the summer!

Harris and Harris J. are still doing lots of Tae Kwon Do. Hunter got started with it too several months ago and is now about to test for his green belt! The test after that he’ll be higher than me! Hayden likes to participate at home too, but needs to learn to listen better before I feel he could actually get through a class. Harris J. has taken the first of 3 tests before receiving his 2nd dan as a black belt. Harris should have tested by now too, but I don’t know why he hasn’t yet. I do know that he still is unsure about sparring though.

Harris J. just turned 12 and received the Aaronic Priesthood which his grandparents (my parents) were able to witness and spend some time with us for a couple days. Harris was really nervous about it beforehand, but I think is excited and ready for the new adventures and responsibilities ahead. He is still doing very well with his trumpet at school and has been helpful with taking care of his little brothers.

Hunter is finally fitting nicely into size 4 clothes. He and Hayden are only like 3 pounds apart! Hayden is nearly as tall as Hunter, but both seem to continue to grow slowly. We still think Hunter will probably be the runt of the family, lucky if he’s taller than me! He just doesn’t have giant parents. He’ll be starting kindergarten in the fall of his year and I think he’ll do well. He is great at making friends, knows his letters and numbers well, loves stories, and learns quickly. My worry is how he’ll be riding the bus (he likes seeing them but not up close) and if he’ll get in trouble for talking too much or miss eating lunch because he’s talking instead!

Hayden is still quite the character. He just turned 3 and was very excited about the extra attention and fun of going to ride the carousel at the mall. Hunter loves birthdays and can’t wait for his own to come. Hayden knows he can often get what he wants when he goes to Daddy for it. He still LOVES cookies, crackers, cheese and bread. It’s hard trying to get him to eat what the rest of us are eating at dinnertime. He is learning a lot from Hunter and is still very lovey. He’s growing up fast so I hang on to all the moments when he cuddles up with me for a movie or gives me hugs and kisses several times. He’s so sweet.

Henry is still living with his mom and is hopefully doing well. We don’t hear much from him nor see him as much as Harris would like. He’s been helpful to his mom, thankfully, while she tries to recover from a sprained ankle. He’s still very much into friends and games and is now trying to learn guitar. We await to hear his skills at this newfound interest.

That’s just a brief rundown of how we’re doing. Not much has changed, at least in our eyes, so if there is something you want to know feel free to ask- comment, email, call, whatever. Hopefully won’t be forever again before you hear from me again.

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