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Monday, August 29, 2011

Trials and Tribulations

Dear Readers,

After writing my last post, I began to think about trials. While I was distraught about the current situation of my friend and how that impacted me, I thought of an exchange from a movie.

Eliza:  "After the tribulations cometh the blessings."

David:  "Is there an end to tribulations?"

Eliza:  "Perhaps only in the world to come."

This exchange came from the LDS film Legacy.  "This DVD of the motion picture Legacy portrays the joys, sacrifices, hopes, and trials of early Latter-day Saints and describes the legacy of faith of early Church members." (taken from this website)

Who knew about trials better than the pioneers?  They were mocked, mistreated, driven out of their homes, watched their leaders be wrongfully persecuted/ martyred, and had to walk across the wilderness to be able to finally worship freely.  Once I started to think of the pioneers, my own pity melted away for me, because I knew that this trial would be able to endured just as the pioneers endured so much.  I went back and watched some of the movie, Legacy because I wanted to make sure that I had the quotes right.  While the main characters are fictional, all events are historical and you can bet the Church did a boat-load of research so that the characters are like real pioneers.  Order an inexpensive copy from as it is not one of the features available on the website.

AND if there is no end to tribulations in this life?  I look forward to a sweet reward in the next life.

I also mailed a letter to my friend today, a picture that Daughter painted, and a card from Husband and I.  I hear he is recovering, but he is still in the hospital.

Thank you for your prayers.  We are all healing.

Endure to the end.

I will.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Prayers, Please

Dear Readers,

This is an excerpt of a letter that I received yesterday in regards to the member of the stake that we fasted for:

"His surgery went well today.  The doctors were able to successfully remove his foot and part of his leg."

This I was not prepared for.  Husband and I had discussed this as a possible outcome, but quickly dismissed it.

I am grateful that there was not a worse outcome.  Sunday we fasted.  We have been praying since we received word of the situation.  This man's name is difficult to pronounce for most, so Daughter has just been praying for "our home teacher."

Yes, this man is our home teacher.  He has spent hours in our home counseling our family.  He has taken an especial interest in all our interests and supporting us as we learn and grow.  He has been instrumental for many of the wonderful changes that have come to our family these past 3 1/2 years.  While we have had the chance to rub shoulders while working on stake projects, we were friends first.

He spoke in Stake Conference last week.  He did great.  I thought they were some of the best words that I heard him preach.  We conversed and made an appointment for last Wednesday.  We told Daughter that our home teacher was coming.  She excitedly spoke of him.  She even said that he was going to sing us a song, something that I knew we'd all laugh at when he arrived.  I looked forward to catching up from the busy summer.  It was indeed our home teacher who had asked us to help with the Youth Conference, neither of us knowing exactly what that would mean in the coming months.

He never came.  Daughter was disappointed and kept asking for him as we put her to bed that night.  This had happened before, so I wasn't worried because I knew it meant that he was helping someone else and that the Spirit told him to stay there.  President is always helping someone and always striving to hear the Spirit to tell him how to help others best.  When he didn't return our phone calls, I still didn't worry too much.  Before he has been called out of town and therefore unavailable.  I had raised my eyebrow that we had gone so many days without any contact, because it's not usually like that, but like I say, not far-fetched and I figured we'd speak soon.  Receiving an email on Saturday was hard to know that none of the above was true, that he was in an intensive care unit with serious health issues.

So, readers, please pray.  Please pray for him, his wife, his family, and also for the many people that look up to and admire this man and call him his friend.  Pray for our family.  There is much healing that needs to be done, because things just won't be the same.  Due to other health issues, Husband speculates that our friend will be in a wheelchair, though of course we do not know.  Now he can't visit us in our home, or the many others that he visited.

We love our home teacher.  I keep waiting for another email to come that said they made a mistake, and that they mis-typed.  There was no amputation, he made a full recovery.

I started this yesterday, not sure if I should post it, and now I feel like I am rambling,

but the truth is, our home teacher is who I would have talked to about something as hard as this.

I feel so alone.

Please pray.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The Book of Mormon and Early Saints

Dear Readers,

Okay, okay, when I said more thoughts about the Book of Mormon "tomorrow", I meant "tomorrow" = soon.... sorry.  Like I said before, I needed some time to tweak this.

I finished the Book of Mormon a week before I left for Nauvoo.  During my stay in Nauvoo, IL my testimony of the Book of Mormon was deepened and strengthened as I learned about the impact that it had on the early Saints of the Church.

They LOVED this book.  They told everyone about it and invited everyone to read it.  Through reading the Book of Mormon, many were converted.

Parley P. Pratt was given a copy of the Book of Mormon.  He wrote in his autobiography:

"I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep."

He joined the Church and then became a great missionary converting many others who became great missionaries.  All because he read the Book of Mormon.  Parley's life really is fascinating.  He is a great example to me and I highly suggest that you read this article from the Ensign all about his life (also the source of the above quote.)

AND speaking of other great conversions from reading the Book of Mormon......

Brigham Young was also converted in this way.  You MUST read this article.  It is absolutely FASCINATING and so beautifully tells of Brigham Young and his friend Heber C. Kimball and their search for the truth and how a Book of Mormon was left with Phinneas Young that provided the way for them.

Seriously, please read it.  If you don't have time now, bookmark it or something.  Maybe you could save it to your Study Notebook.  Husband has started using it and loves it, even though I still don't prefer it (see #6).

I love these stories that give me so much inspiration.  How often do I read scripture like Parley P. Pratt where anything else is a burden?  How often is it that the reading is the burden and everything else is what  I want to do?  Brigham Young said that he wanted to "roar the gospel to the nations" (see above article).  Am I roaring?  I am working on it.

I love my personal growth in becoming more missionary-minded.  Just like Parley P. Pratt and Brigham Young, missionaries today seek to hand out Book of Mormons (make sure to scroll all the way down).  The Book of Mormon is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ."

I love the Book of Mormon.  I am grateful that it meant to much to the early latter-day saints.  I am grateful for Joseph Smith's diligence in translating it.  He was persecuted all of his life for his "gold bible".  I love this video from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Daughter has started carrying around one of the "military" Book of Mormons (Is that the appropriate term?).  It is pocket-sized and just perfect for her hand-size.  She has started to ask me to read to her from it, so I flip and find short stories to read to her.  It is a sweet time for us.  I am grateful that she is learning to love the Book of Mormon.  I am also grateful that it keeps me reading from the Book of Mormon daily.  I have to decided to quickly read The Doctrine and Covenants before the end of the year.  It is shorter than the Book of Mormon and I am just dying to read it after my trip to Nauvoo.  I saw some of the places where revelations where received.

I do look forward though to my next reading of the Book of Mormon.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Fasting Journal

Dear Brother,

I just realized that I never sent this last letter about fasting to you.

I must say that my family let out a big cheer after we hung up the phone tonight.  Everyone is very excited!!!

As an update, I want to tell you a little bit more about our Fast Sunday two weeks ago.  I mentioned that we were asked to fast for the weather.  Our stake is one of great faith.  That next week we had 7 days where precipitation was recorded.  There have been many rolling thunderstorms which have also lowered the overall temperature.  100 degrees is way easier to handle after 115 degrees.  They recognized this last week in our Stake Conference.

Saturday we received another stake-wide email.  A widely known and beloved member of our stake is in the hospital and could we please fast for him on Sunday.  While the situation is quite serious, I am calmed when I think of the faith of our stake.  If we could fast for the weather and God heard our pleas then most certainly we can fast for our leader and friend and he can be healed.

I tried to use my regular journal for my fasting journal two weeks ago and was not pleased with the results.  While buying school supplies these past two weeks I picked myself up a little spiral notebook for 15 cents to be my fasting journal.


It totally changed my fast.  I told Husband about how I really liked it and that he should try it.  He immediately went and found a notebook for him to use and started one.  I highly recommend it.  If you need the link to it again specifically, it is HERE (though it is also described in my last letter)

I look forward to making more entries in it.  I can feel the potential and know I will definitely enjoy looking back and reading entries once I have made several.

Good to talk again,


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

April Ensign and Hodgepodge

Dear Readers,

I am sorry.  I just can't seem to feel right about the Book of Mormon post that I have been working on.  It's really held me up, but I don't want to post something that I don't feel exactly right about.

So, I found this in my drafts.

The April Ensign was absolutely amazing.  I LOVED every single article that was in it.  Seriously, I could start at the beginning and give a page by page review.  If you maybe skipped some, go ahead and read it here (link to April Ensign).

I also thoroughly enjoyed the July Ensign.  I will make a draft about this article, because I want to tell you something about it.

I want to share lots of things.  This past Sunday I attended Stake Conference.  It quite possibly might be the best stake conference I have ever attended.  I journaled a lot about it.

I have written in my journal about lots of things.

I will share.


Sometimes I don't blog because I am not feeling the Spirit, but right now I am overwhelmed with it.

I wasn't kidding about the April Ensign.  If someone asks me then I really will go article by article and give a review, but only if someone asks.  I have a lot of drafts already :)

Your friend,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jerusalem Movie Set

Dear Brother,

Doesn't this look so interesting?  Our Church has built a 3-acre movie set of Jerusalem to film stories from Jesus' life.  I can't wait to hear about the projects that are completed there.  I love the films that the Church puts out, especially the ones for Seminary.  I still remember some of the ones from my very first year when we studied the Old Testament.

I think this is wonderful.  When I first saw The Testaments, it really helped to strengthen my testimony of Jesus Christ.  This movie set will help so many other people's testimonies grow as well.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Looking for Trouble

Dear Sister,

You know how they say if you look for trouble you will find it?

Well, I have decided that the opposite is true.  If you seek for the Spirit then you will find it where ever you may be.  It happened to me this morning.  I was preparing to attend the temple and as I sought to have the Spirit with me it kept multiplying and multiplying.

First, I prayed, then I pondered.  I flipped through the radio and heard something that had some truth to it about serving our fellow man.  I pondered and then flipped the station again and the song "Jesus, Son of Man Desiring" by Bach was on.  I was attending the temple for a specific purpose and was grateful  that once I started looking, goodness and His Spirit were everywhere.

I also found this promise:
"Those who have made it their quest to realize the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit will awaken in the next life as spiritual giants, in contrast to the infancy of others who have lived without God in this world." (source here)
Woot.  Count me in.

I love you, let's talk soon.  We actually have something in reply to your funny craft email a few days ago.  We've just been slow.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Book of Mormon

Dear Readers,

About a month ago, I had the privilege of finishing the Book of Mormon again.  It took me over a year to read it through this time.  This time as I read, I made notes and drew diagrams of all of the peoples mentioned in the book.  I was tired of mixing up the stories and who belonged where and when.  It was fun to add to my diagrams each time that I read.  I don't know that I will remember everything perfectly, but I do feel like I started putting all the pieces in place to understand the people and history a little better.

The Book of Mormon is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ."  It is a companion to the Bible and provides a clearer picture of of the doctrine of Christ.  I love the stories that it tells.  My favorites are of the different prophets teaching doctrine, and of Christ's visit to His people in the Americas.

After I finished the last words on page 531, I went upstairs where it was quiet and I knelt down to pray.  I followed Moroni's exhortation in Moroni 10:4 where it says to "ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true".  Moroni then promises that "if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [God] will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."  As soon as I said my prayer, the Holy Ghost confirmed to me, as it has every time that I have asked, that the Book of Mormon is true.  It is God's words to his holy prophets, meant for me to read.

No angels appeared, I did not fall to the ground, and I wasn't overcome with emotion, but the Holy Ghost whispered to me in my mind and in my heart that it was true.  My chest felt constricted with a fullness that I also recognize to be His Spirit  confirming to me of the truthfulness of that book.

I invite all of you to read the Book of Mormon.  If you do not have a copy of the Book of Mormon, you may order one here.

Read it.  Pray about it.  Follow Moroni's Promise.  If you pray with a "sincere heart with real intent", see if the power of the Holy Ghost manifests the truth of it to you.

More thoughts on the Book of Mormon tomorrow,


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fasting With Power

Dear Brother,

Thank you for asking our family to fast for yours awhile back.  It strengthened my testimony of the power of the law of the fast.  Tonight on "Fast Sunday Eve" I have been preparing for tomorrow.

I wanted to share this neat idea about a Fasting Journal.  A woman wrote to the Ensign about how she keeps a specific journal to write about her fast.  She will keep track of the purpose and as she experiences thoughts, or reads related scriptures, she'll also write them down.  The journal keeps everything in the same place so that she  look back and "see how they all contribute to [her] growth and development."

I think I will try to do this just in my regular journal so I don't have to juggle two, but I am open to the idea of having just a special journal unique to that purpose.  This woman has done it for 15 years so I can imagine what a wonderful treasure that is to go back and re-read.

We have been asked as a stake to fast for the weather tomorrow.  The excessive heat is dangerous to some member's health as well as damaging agricultural crops that have an effect on our economy.

One of my favorite resources is the article entitled "Fasting With Power" by Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy.  I feel filled with power when I read it.  When I was preparing to fast for your family last year, I came across the article and have loved it ever since.  I highly recommend it, if I haven't already to you.

I hope you are enjoying your company and your special day tomorrow.  I am glad that our fasting helped to contribute to it ;)

I love you.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hark All Ye Nations

Dear Friend P,

My trip to Nauvoo was wonderful.  When we first moved here 3 years ago we put it on our vacation list for this year, because we knew we wanted our unborn child at the time to be as old as possible to hopefully remember the many experiences of Nauvoo.  I know that many have been deeply impressed upon my heart as I know that they have been Husband's and hopefully Daughter's.

In the Summer months there are many dramatic and musical productions that are performed all around Nauvoo about many topics.  One vignette that we saw was about missionary work.  In it the early missionaries of the Church, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff were all portrayed.  They all told of their missionary experiences.  These were professional actors who portrayed these men so powerfully.  I knew that they were accurate in their portrayal because the Spirit told me so.  The only reason why I wondered was because they were so enthusiastic about sharing the gospel.  They were so eager to open their mouths, not fearful, and with so little experience in the Church themselves that I simply was curious if they REALLY were that way, but I know that they were.

Elder Ballard has said in "Anchored by Faith and Commitment",

"Brothers and sisters, we need to learn that early members of the Church succeeded in the face of all opposition because they had the unwavering faith to open their mouths and declare the truth and because they took with them the mighty sword of the Lord's Spirit (see D&C 27:16–18). They remembered their baptismal covenant 'to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places . . . even until death' (Mosiah 18:9)."

That says it all.  The pioneers had an unwavering faith.  They opened their mouths.  They didn't just open them, they "took with them the mighty sword of the Lord's Spirit".  That definitely sounds powerful and effective to me.

The show was appropriately held in the Seventies Hall.  The Seventies Hall was built for the purpose of training missionaries that had been called.  It was a place for them to meet and discuss missionary work.  Also, as missionaries came back they would bring things from the various countries to be resources for the next missionaries that were called.  It was called the the first Missionary Training Center.  Missionaries that are called today still receive training in a Missionary Training Center either in Provo, UT or at a Missionary Training Center in one of many different countries that hosts a Missionary Training Center.

The Senior Missionary who was giving us a tour of the Seventies Hall said that a tornado blew down one of the walls while it was still under construction.  It was very discouraging to the pioneers, but Brigham Young called it an "omen".  That Satan knew what good things would happen in that building and so he was trying to stop it from happening.

I can't believe how powerful those missionaries were.  I would love to be like them.  I remember when I said I was going to study out of Preach My Gospel.  Well, it's fallen by the wayside, so I have picked it up again recently to continue my study.    We also feed the missionaries in our home several times a week.  It is wonderful to have the Lord's authorized representatives in our home to be examples to us.  I keep looking at them knowing that they are younger than me.  They just have desire to share.  I keep learning about the early missionaries of the Church knowing that they have been members of the Church less times than I have.  They just had desire to share.

At the beginning and end of the vignette the actors came marching up/ down the aisles singing "Hark All Ye Nations".  The words are such an appropriate missionary anthem.  They are my new inspiration.  "Truth is on earth once more" and I want everyone to know about it.

I do have a testimony.  I do want to share it.  My trip to Nauvoo has lit a fire in me that I want to capitalize on.  Keep me accountable.

With desire,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Financial Blessings

Dear Readers,

I am bursting at the seams with so much to share, but I have something that I need to get off my chest first.

I have been blessed over the past few months just like the scripture says with no more room to receive it.  Some of these were financial blessings and I shared a little bit about that.  One blessing that I did not share was about my trip to the dentist.  I went in due to some excruciating tooth pain.  I thought for sure I had a huge cavity and possibly needed a root canal.  They took some x-rays, and looked all around for the cause of the pain (which ended up not being a cavity at all).  The necessary adjustment was made and then at the end, they said "No Charge."

Huh?  Did I hear correctly?  We're not just saying he looked in my mouth and did nothing because there wasn't really nothing.  X-RAYS aren't cheap for the patient or the dentist.  WORK was performed on me by the dentist.  TIME was spent on me that could have been spent on a paying customer.


It's not like I needed this $100 to make my rent payment or put food on the table, but that is a lot of money that can be spent in other areas of my life.  Please help me remember this, so that Husband can be the same type of healthcare provider to others (because it wasn't Husband who made this decision).

I know I was blessed.  We have always been faithful tithe payers and generous with our time and offerings.  The Lord is waiting to bless us.  He wants to bless us.

With Gratitude,