Opposition!

I hate it, but “it must needs be, that we have an opposition in all things.”

According to a Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi it is part of our Heavenly Father’s plan. The plan that allows us to choose and experience life on earth.

The part that is not my favorite, is the part about going through bad, so we can appreciate the good.

I have been sick for the last few days. I was dealing with a lot not pleasant things that my body was doing. And I had many thoughts cross my mind that I hate being sick. I don’t ever want to be sick!

I hate it!

Then I remind myself, if I was never sick, I wouldn’t appreciate how good it feels to be healthy. We actually had this illness going through our family. I told Kelsey, I don’t know how people who have to deal with a long term sickness do it. These people who don’t feel good for weeks, or years, and seem to still be able to have a positive attitude and a smile on their face. They are amazing. I’m grateful for their example.

I am so happy I’m feeling better.

And pray others who don’t feel good, will feel better as well.

Yay, for opposition!!! Yay, for bad and good! God is great and I’m grateful for His beautiful plan of happiness!

Missionary Monday: Hermana W. and Sister H. in Georgia!

Dear Family & Friends,
I think I can honestly say these past two weeks have been the best of my life thus far. Sister H. and I have seen so many miracles, our days have been so full, and we have been just loving these people.
So it is really difficult to say goodbye to her in a few days…  she is going to TN, which is apparently pretty country so that will be fun for her, and as for me I’m getting a brand new missionary that I get to train here in the best place in the world. So excited.
People I care about and a few miracles
La familia R. – we showed up last week way earlier than usual because of some scheduling conflicts without telling them and to our great surprise and joy, their son M. opened the door! We love him and his daughter and just had a wonderful time talking about Jesus Christ over Peruvian cheese and popcorn. He asked us to give him reading assignments to whip him into shape to start reading and we are so excited to be a part of his life.
La familia D. – So this is an awesome story. About two weeks ago we first talked to a young guy D. as he was walking out of his car. He grabbed some chairs and we had an epic first lesson. Then we come back, he’s not there but get this his brother J. is there and we have a great conversation in the door and give him another Book of Mormon. We come back a third time and everyone is partying inside but J. invites his whole family to stop and listen so we have a crazy but awesome lesson. Then we teach J. and D.’s sister M. and her boyfriend J. with their mother M. They tell us to come back every day. We teach J.,M., J. and D. the next time and ask them to read the plan of salvation pamphlet. We come back yesterday and M. hands us a paper of all the questions and answers they found in the scriptures together and they stayed up until 3am doing it and she didn’t want to stop! We had a fantastic lesson and then stayed for dinner with homemade tortillas, Chile relleno, arroz, y flan. They just made us a part of their family and I love, love, love, love, them. In the end we sang songs and played guitar and their kids begged us to come back for dinner tomorrow.
D.!!!! – D., a woman I wrote about from England whose door Sister M. and I knocked on is getting baptized she had been “taught” by sisters in the past but really started to take it seriously when we came. She didn’t like church at first but we promised her that it is a place where the spirit can be felt if she is open to it and here it is God really does back up our promised, when we’re not there to see them be fulfilled
E. F. – an absolute miracle. We went to the bank to cash a check and the English/Spanish teller read my name tag and was curious about who we were and what we do. We awkwardly spewed out a couple points from the Restoration and then gave him our number and HE called US that night. That never happens! We met up at a his pizza joint and talked for hours about all his questions about religion, our lives, him growing up in Central America, his dreams to do good and give back in the world, our dreams. He is so intelligent and wonderful- It was so nice. We walked out beaming ear to ear. And he’s already started reading the Book of Mormon
At the D.’s last night I asked them the question before we really got into our lesson on the plan of salvation what is joy? They responses ranged but mostly centered on family and learning about God. In the end they told us that what we were doing right there with them was joy. They thanked us for our sincerity and honesty and told us they were feeling something they hadn’t felt in 20 years. That was joy. I know that joy comes from God. Joy isn’t a fleeting sensation though it was so intense last night. Joy comes from learning about and knowing our part in God’s plan, and then making it happen by serving Him and reaching out to his children in need. Paint a bright spot in your heart for me and do something for someone else today!
Hermana W
and Sister H
(written by Hermana W)

Sunday Best!

“This is our one and only chance at mortal life—here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that elusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey—now.” -Thomas S. Monson

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Our sweet “Bonus Baby” Emily was sharing a thought with her dad and I the other day about time. She said she’d been wondering why God only gave us 24 hours in a day to get things done. Then she told us that she feels like He gave us only 24 hours in a day so we would have to choose what is the most important things to spend our time on. We are showing our Father in Heaven what matters most to us by how we spend our time.

Are we spending our time on what really matters?

I also love so much that President Monson said to “find joy in the journey.”

So let’s “spend our time on what matters most” and “find joy in the journey”!!!

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy

Heroes

My friend Melissa is a hero! She is so noble. She is the kind of gal who would do anything for you. She was able to donate a kidney to one of our other friends who had sick kidneys and needed his removed. When our friend was getting sick the family got the word out that they needed a donor. Many people tried to be a donor. There are lots of things that need to be just right to be a donor. After many people went through the process they found a match, and it was Melissa! She would be the donor! She would save a dad, a brother, a son, a husband. Because of her another life is saved! 

I knew that I would not be able to donate a kidney. I’m old and I am not in good enough health. But I still wanted to do something. I wanted to make a contribution. So I made Melissa an arrangement. She loved it! I had a nice visit with her and she is doing great.

What a wonderful woman.
What a wonderful hero!

Family History Friday: Collectables #8 Grandma Norma’s China

My Grandma Norma loved beautiful things.

She didn’t have a lot.

She and Grandpa were married during the depression and did their best to make a beautiful home for my mom and her sister.

When my mom was old enough to get a job, she saw this beautiful set of china and bought it for her mom. I love that! She was thinking about something her mom would like to have, and got it for her.

When I got my first job, I don’t remember thinking about my mom, except that she wouldn’t have to buy me school clothes anymore.

Years ago my mom invited me and my Darlin over for dinner. Just us two with my mom and dad. It was so special. She served dinner on these dishes. They felt very light weight and delicate. I thought, if my mom ever gives these to me, they will never be eaten on again. I was so afraid they would break.

Well, she did give them to me!

They are on display in my china hutch.They mean so much to me, because she bought them for her mom with money from her first job!

There are so many stories that are associated with the things we have in our lives. Don’t forget to tell the stories to those you love, and especially to someone who might eventually have the things in their home.

They can pass the item down to their kids along with the story!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

Lessons

I love this misty picture of our new, old house. Built in 1906.

For the last little while I have not been my best self.

I do put quite a bit of pressure on myself to get things done. I am always trying to do so many things that at the end of the day I usually say, “I didn’t get enough done.” or “I feel like I’ll never get this or that finished.”

So with our move almost 3 years ago, I really struggled with feeling my best. I have depression, and I had just been through one of the biggest changes of my life.

We moved after living in the same house and neighborhood for 18 years. We moved to a smaller house planning for the future and simplifying our lives, which made us empty nesters. I had looked forward to this time, but did not anticipate how hard it would actually be. We had all our kids with us at the other house, including our married son, his wife and our grandbaby, who lived in a little apartment in the basement. We saw them all the time. Our middle two kids had been home from LDS missions for a couple of years, and we had just received our youngest daughter home from her LDS mission in December and moved in March. I still struggle with that, because I wish I’d had more time with her at home before she got married. Now she’s married and lives about 45 minutes away and I usually only see her every other week for Sunday dinner.

FYI. I took the love language test and my love language is time.

So there came a time shortly after the move that I could not stop crying. I have taken medication for depression for many years, but it wasn’t helping this sadness. This sadness, was coming from knowing that my time of being a mom with my children at home was over. I was so lonesome for them. They were raised, and now adults living on their own. My usual routine was completely different.

There were days I couldn’t leave the house. There were days when I didn’t get much done at all. There were also times I felt like my eyes would always be swollen from crying. I practiced saying many positive mantras, lot’s of prayer, focusing on blessings, and the beauty of the world around me, and I think we tweaked my medication.

As I was studying one day, I found a talk by Elder David A. Bednar. In it he talks about spending a Sunday afternoon with one of the other apostles Elder Robert D. Hales as he was recovering from an illness. Elder Bednar asked Elder Hales to share a lesson he had learned through all of his responsibilities as he has grown older and been constrained by decreased physical capacity.

He said,  “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”

This was perfect for me especially as I adjusted to my new life as an empty nester, my new routine, neighborhood, and house. I had to be patient with myself. I had to say “No” when people asked me to do this or that, knowing it was too much for me at that time. I am doing much better, now. I still have days that are tough sometimes, but I know that, when I cannot do what I have always done, then I only do what matters most.

I am so grateful for lesson’s!

Gift Wrap Center!

We live in a small home. There is not space in it for a craft room. That is were I would probably put my gift wrap if I had a craft room. I don’t buy a lot of gift wrap, but I like to have a little on hand in case I need it. I do have a hard time throwing it away. Especially if it is something like gift bags, that are made for reusing, and I love to reuse the bows. I have enough, that I wanted to have a special place to keep it that would make using it easy.

So I bought this shelf that looks kinda like a bakers rack, second hand and I had this idea to use it for a place to gift wrap.

A Gift Wrap Center! 

It turned out perfect, and it doesn’t take up too much space!

I have a bin for ribbons and bows, a bin for tissue paper, a bin for gift wrap and boxes, and a bin for gift bags. Then my Darlin put some rods on it to put curling ribbon on. The rolls of gift wrap are on the second to bottom shelf. Now, I know what I have and will be able to make use of it all with my

Gift Wrap Center!

Happy Birthday Nancy!

My mother-in-law’s birthday is today. She would have been 83. What a fun lady!

I miss her so much.

Nancy after having cancer removed from the tip of her nose.

When we were together for the family Christmas party we shared some of our memories of those family members who aren’t with us anymore. I love the idea of getting these stories down for future generations.

I recorded what everyone said on Voice Memos an app on my Iphone, so I could later get the stories down on paper. I wanted to share one of the stories that I remembered our niece sharing and it wasn’t on there. She must have shared it after the recording was turned off.

It is such a cute funny story, that I want to share it.

Our niece Hannah used to love to spend time with Grandmother. If she ended up running errands with her, she would always end up getting lunch, which was one of her favorite things. One time they were stopped at Arby’s to get lunch, and Hannah said she wanted a Arby’s without the sauce, just the meat. So Nancy tell’s the guy at the spot you order that they want a sandwich with just the meat, and I guess she repeated, “Just the meat” a few times. They got to the window and the worker had put meat only in the container where the sandwich should have been. They laughed, but to fix this situation Nancy went back around the drive up. They got the sandwich corrected and then she drove to go out and missed the exit, so she drove through the drive through again. Haha! That is such a cute memory. I can totally picture Nancy driving around the restaurant in the drive through 3 times!

I’m sure she is celebrating her birthday in Heaven with Pearce. What a wonderful couple!

Missionary Monday: Elder W. in Argentina!

Hola!

This week we will be having our zone conference with the visit of Elder Bragg a member of the Quorum of the seventy.  He is visiting our mission, and he will speak to us on the 8th.  We will be traveling to listen, and to have our zone conference, with our Christmas dinner with president and his wife.

This last week we found and taught three new investigators.  They are just getting to know a little more for now we will see how it goes this week,  we also had a great lesson with our branch president and one of our investigators named A., we invited president to go with us and he was more than happy.  In the lesson the investigator expressed his desire to find the right path, and the right religion.  He is looking for the truth!  He didn’t come to church yesterday, and that was a little disappointing, but I’m sure he will progress with time.  We promised him that if he prays with faith and a sincere heart he will find out that the Book of Mormon is true, and therefore find the right path, just like the promise says. (Intro. of Book of Mormon)
It is good to have a member come with us on the visits with the investigators, we have been trying to work more with the members here. We have done a lot of service this week, one of the service projects was move “power poles” and we were able to go with the branch president on that lesson, and we hope to be able to have more lessons with a member present.
I know that Christ lives and loves us,  I know that God is a God of order, and He is perfect,  The Church is true, and we see miracles all the time.
Thanks for all the support, I love you!
Elder W.

Sunday Best!

“The Prophet Joseph said at one time that one of the greatest sins of which the Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us have not thought of that as a great sin. There is a great tendency for us in our prayers and in our pleadings with the Lord to ask for additional blessings. But sometimes I feel we need to devote more of our prayers to expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for blessings already received. We enjoy so much.”

You could have an experience with the gift of the Holy Ghost today. You could begin a private prayer with thanks. You could start to count your blessings, and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind. If you begin to express gratitude for each of them, your prayer may take a little longer than usual. Remembrance will come. And so will gratitude.

You could try the same thing as you write an entry in your book of remembrance. The Holy Ghost has helped with that since the beginning of time. You remember in the record of Moses it says: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration.” (Moses 6:5.)

President Spencer W. Kimball described that process of inspired writing: “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.”

As you start to write, you could ask yourself, “How did God bless me today?” If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.

-Henry B. Eyring

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 One year, a few years ago, I kept a daily gratitude journal. It was wonderful to take the time to notice the everyday blessings that Father in Heaven has given me. These blessings are so much a part of our daily lives that sometimes we don’t even notice them. We take them for granted. Remembering to thank God in our prayers is so important, but keeping a gratitude journal helps you come up with at least 365 things you’re grateful for, or helping you to pay attention to the little usually insignificant things that are blessing straight from God. His way of letting you know He is there, He cares about what is important to you, and He loves you!

I had to smile today at what our sweet daughter-in-law said. She said she knew Heavenly Father loves her because we were having breakfast casserole for Sunday dinner. She had a busy day at church, and was super tired. Having breakfast casserole for dinner felt like a blessing. It was very good!

I really think it’s ok to give God the credit for everything we are blessed with, even breakfast casserole. After all He gave us life and the opportunity to live in the beautiful world. All the yummy food is a blessing of living in a world that provides the necessities of life. Janet needed some breakfast casserole, and God provided it.

I had a wonderful experience the year I kept a gratitude journal. I recommend it. We are blessed more than we realize if we take the time to notice.

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy