This blog is not an official website of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And Counting...

Dear Readers,

Lastly, YES I am ECSTATIC about General Conference.  The General Relief Society Meeting (highlights here!)was fantastic.  I want to spend a whole week on it.  Five days for five "forget-nots" from President Uchtdorf.  I can't wait.  Our family will stick to tradition.  We treat General Conference as an employee might treat a business conference.  We wear business casual or nicer depending on the session.  We're on time.  We plan no other activities to distract us.  We look forward to hearing the keynote speakers recognizing them to be THE experts of this field.  If we cannot make it in person we "tele-commute" and participate over the web.  We feel the buzz and excitement of a LARGE group gathered together for a single purpose.

YES, we LOVE General Conference in our house.  We have been preparing for over a month, but I have not said anything.  Sorry.  It's not too late for you to clear your calendar and plan to participate.

Print out activities for children (or yourself).

Recognize that it is no ordinary blessing.  (It is worth it to give 20 hours of your year.  Seriously.)

AND last but not least, enjoy this from Elder Holland's last Conference talk in April.

General Conference IS amazing.  It has the power to change your life.  Please watch.


Read here for my "Proper Preparation" from April that also lists how and where to watch on the internet.


Waiting,
Lindsay

How are you? I am fine.



Dear Readers,

I apologize.  I have sent much personal and private correspondence, but have not allowed you to be privy to it. I am also grateful for the cards and letters that I have received lately.  It has been a fun time. Cards have that effect on people.  Anyone want some? (lettersfromlindsay at gmail)  Everyone from my first group has received their card packages in the mail, but I still have oodles and oodles.  I even started giving out more cards myself, but I still have more than I'd like to have.

As far as news on "the purge", or shall we call it "Purge 2011", or "The Great Purge"?  Every great "disaster" has a catchy name.  We'll just stick with "The Purge".  We're not to 50% yet.  Honestly, I have no idea what percentage we're at, but we have made a ton of progress in case you're interested.  It might take a whole month to get everything to all simplified like the pioneers, but we are off to an awesome start.  The missionaries have also been really grateful for some of our castoffs...(never seen someone so grateful for a waffle iron for example).  I have even purged my "drafts" file in this blog and deleted 50% of my "draft posts".  It feels so good to remove clutter from all areas of my life.

The Young Women's presidency is off to a great start.  We are slowly overcoming the language barrier and having much success.  Rome wasn't built in a day, but I'm sure they savored each and every little success.

Additionally, it has been exciting to hear about those who are starting to labor in the The Vineyard.  Thank you for all of your feedback.  It lifts me up to hear of others who are making a stand for good in the world.  This is what I wrote about the Vineyard.  Even my own husband got right to work.  I am so thankful, because he is doing Spanish translation.  We need that, because all of the Young Women materials are not in Spanish (yep, another hurdle for me.)

I don't usually do updates like this.  This blog never was meant to chronicle my day-to-day activities, or even my day-to-day spiritual life, but I feel like I am behind, and as part of the "The Purge" I am getting everything current, so I can live in the present.

Also, I am pooped, as in VERY tired.  Every night I sit down and think that I'd like to share something on the blog, but I am just way to tired to form sentences.  It might be like this for awhile.  My new responsibilities caught me off guard, and the health of myself has not been stellar.  Someone in my house needs surgery in the coming months, and we have our own personal heartaches to work through right now in addition to everything mentioned above.  Your patience is appreciated.

With the influx of new readers, I just wanted to say hello.  Welcome.  This is my testimony.  I know that these things that I type about are full of truth.  I know that as you read these things, they will also ring true within you.  Visit mormon.org to chat with a representative or have them visit your home to speak more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Wearily,
Lindsay

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Beautiful Story



Dear Readers,

May I tell you about my Sunday?

Today has been such a wonderful, WONDERFUL day.  One of the best of my life.  It has been a day full of peace and joy that comes from being close to Heavenly Father's Spirit.

I attend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  With over 14 million members, we meet as small congregations on a weekly basis.  These are organized geographically for convenience.  At this time, my family has been asked to attend the Spanish congregation (called a branch) in our area.  Many of them are new to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as a whole.  We are helping to train them to assume leadership positions so that the Latino population may become stronger in this area.

This past week I was called to be the Young Women's President.  This is to oversee the girls who are ages 12-18 in the branch.  A president chooses two counselors to work with as well as a secretary.  They then counsel together on how to best meet the needs of the girls and administer the program for them.

All positions in the Mormon Church are unpaid.  As people are "called" they choose to volunteer their time to fill the position they have been asked to fill.  We do not base these "callings" on resumes or look at qualifications, but believe that these positions are "called of God", like Aaron.

As the President it was my responsibility and privilege to pray and receive inspiration on who Heavenly Father wanted to work in the Young Women's organization.

I prayed,

and prayed.

My head swirled.   Being the Young Women's President or any other president comes with great responsibility.  I did not know if I could complete the task ahead of me.

Did I mention this is a Spanish congregation?

I don't speak Spanish.  "No habla Espanol." (I say that a lot.)

(If you're wondering what I'm doing in a Spanish congregation see above comment about being called of God.  If we trust in Him, He will direct our paths.)

As I thought through the names of all of the other women, I became very overwhelmed.  How could I train someone who spoke very little English when I spoke very little Spanish?  I had been told that I could have a "translator", but I kept feeling that Heavenly Father wanted someone else.  Someone else who did not speak English...what to do?

After praying for over an hour last Wednesday (it felt so long, but that is so short compared to Enos) I finally knew.  I knew that God had spoken to me, and I did not waver anymore in my thinking of who should fill what position.

Today at church we began our duties.  First, our names were presented to everyone so that we could be voted on.  Then we were given special blessings to perform our best in these callings.

Before all of this though, one of the ladies I had chosen was given the Holy Ghost and was confirmed as a member.  On Saturday, she was married to her spouse, and then her family was baptized.  It was a beautiful moment for them in their lives as they chose to become a member of Christ's Church.  Yesterday was really special and it carried over to today.

In our special blessings we were blessed with many wonderful promises.  One woman was blessed with the gift of tongues; that she would learn English in a way she never thought possible to be able to communicate with me!  Another woman was blessed that through her diligent service that her family would want to come to church and work towards being sealed in the temple!  My own blessing provided special guidance and direction on how to interact with the girls and a blessing of health (yay!) to be able to complete my duties.  It also spoke of listening to the "whisperings" of the Holy Ghost.  It made me remember this experience.  I am grateful that I have learned how to discern guidance from the Holy Spirit.  There have been many lessons learned this past year.

After an overwhelming week for many reasons, it all ended so sweetly.  The Lord is pleased.  I know it.  He has spoken and chosen His servants and they have answered the call.  We have a beautiful beginning as we meet this week to begin to figure everything out.

One English-only speaking woman.

Two Spanish-only speaking women.

One barely bi-lingual woman who knows just enough English to translate for us all.

This is our presidency.  There is much to teach.  There is much to learn.

I am humbled by my experiences.  I have prayed many times this week.  I have shed many tears,

but now I am feeling my greatest joy.  And I know this is just the beginning.

This is Jesus Christ's work.

Dutifully,
Lindsay

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Overwhelmed

Dear Readers,

Sorry about Friday.  Something has come to my immediate attention that has taken every possible thought and energy out of me.

Thankfully an answer has come, and like my little brother has said, "I'm not at the end of my rope, but at the beginning."  There will be much work ahead, but I know it will yield blessings.

Heavenly Father asks us to do hard things.  He doesn't ask us to do more than we are able to do, but sometimes we don't think we are as capable as He does.

"Ye fearful Saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head."

(verse 2, God Moves in Mysterious Ways, Hymn 285)

"Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord." (Jeremiah 31:16)

No more crying, Lindsay.

"Forget yourself and go to work."  (I just love President Hinckley sharing that story from his mission.)

Weakly,
Lindsay

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Simple Pioneers - My Gift

Dear Readers,

I LOVED my trip to Nauvoo, IL.  It was exactly what my family needed.  In keeping with the letter to my sister about purging 50% of my household, I have a gift for you.

I am a card maker, as in greeting cards.

I used to be involved in a card swap where crafters would make greeting cards of their own design and then swap them with the other makers.  Because of this, I have over 200 pre-made greeting cards just sitting in my house.

Stacks of them.


Stacks and Tubs of them.

When I give a card these days, I sometimes use one of these pre-made ones, or make a new one if I want it to be specifically made by me, for a certain situation.  As part of my purge, I realized that I felt guilty making new cards when I had so many others to choose from, so that resulted in NO card-making for awhile.  And what's the point of having card-making supplies if you are not going to make cards?  Those should get purged as well...but I don't want to have to do that.

If I get rid of the greeting cards, then I can keep the supplies :).  I could either:

1.  Throw them all in the garbage

2.  Give them away

Being a crafter, I hate to throw them away.  They are clever, cute and many times made with loving attention to detail.

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO,

anybody want some cards?  No catches, no gimmicks.  If you email me where to mail them, I'll send you 10 cards.  These can include Halloween, Easter, every Holiday in between, Get Well Soon, Thinking of You, Birthday, Blank/ No specification, etc.  Since I didn't make all of these cards, they are very diverse in style.

Here is a small sampling of my 200+ cards.




LettersfromLindsay at gmail dot com

I'll pay the postage.  I love the post office.  Remember?  It will be my pleasure to share these with you.

I will be bummed if no one wants any, because I simply can't use them all.  Even if I wrote 10 notes to friends a week, it would take me over 6 months to send them all (and that would be 6 months of no new cards).

Some of the cards even have matching envelopes that were swapped....

Have I sold you yet?  I know this blows your anonymity, and for that I am sorry, but there is no way to mail them without an address.

I love cards because of the joy that they can bring to others.  Everyone needs a friend.  President Hinckley taught that.  Giving/ receiving a card is a friendly gesture.  It also is a great fulfillment of my goal to reach out to others this year.  I am working on it, though I haven't talked about it too much lately.

Thanks for reading,

Givingly,
Lindsay

Simple Pioneers

Dear Sister,

I cannot say enough about Nauvoo.  It was EXACTLY what my family needed.  Daughter is still singing the songs from the shows and praying for the characters in the plays.  She also wears her pioneer get-up almost constantly.  Sometimes she makes me wear our cowboy hat and then she calls me "Cowboy Mama", lol.  I don't know where she gets this stuff.  I don't know which I prefer more, "Cowboy Mama" or when she just calls me "Ma".

"Ma?"

Are you kidding me?

This is 2011 and my daughter calls me Ma?

Next we're going to sell our car and travel by covered wagon alone.  Daughter actually got mad when I was putting away the pioneer decorations this week.  Hello, it's September!

Secretly, I love it.  Make that LOVE it.

I love that our household cherishes the lives and sacrifices of our progenitors.  I love that we remember them daily.  Remembering our past helps us understand who we are and how we should act and why.

One thing that impressed me in Nauvoo was how simple yet so rich and full their lives were.  They didn't have so many comforts that we now have.  They worked hard all day, and then socialized in the evenings.  Though they were persecuted and faced many trials they were so happy.  They were so full of joy for their blessings of what they DID have, ie. The Book of Mormon, the temple, food to eat, clothes to wear, etc.

In their homes they had what they needed.  Even the "extravagant" homes still had many kids sharing one small bed.  Their family might have a few prized possessions, but their homes (albeit reconstructed and refurnished) did NOT have "stuff", piles of clutter, or a surplus of plastic toys/ items made in China.

No wonder they were able to easily focus on the gospel.  Their houses were Houses of Order.

Looking around my house, I thought it would be so neat if we could get rid of 50% of we have.  We have a family of 3 so I know we have a lot less than the typical American Family, but I know we have WAY too much.

I also know 50% is huge.  I was telling the missionaries my goal, but then I was telling them I didn't think it was possible.  Yeah some things would be easy.  We have 2 pianos, give away one.  We have 4 strollers, get rid of 2 or more.  Then I thought of my craft stuff and I thought........."ooooh, which things would be a part of my 50%?   There is NOTHING I could part with."  Same with some of my piano music.

I kind of left it at that, but then a few days later, I walked around my house with new eyes.  Having mulled over the idea of 50% in my head, all of a sudden, I saw TONS of things that I could part with.  I told Husband to hurry and let me get rid of them before I changed my mind.

We took one load to donate last night.  It was probably only 2%, but it was mainly the bags we've been meaning to take for months.  I haven't gone through for my big purge yet.

I am excited.  I know we won't really hit 50% because I am sure we use 50% of our possessions regularly, but I am happy to kiss some major clutter good-bye.  There are so many qualities that I hope to emulate from the pioneers.

Being 3rd generation Depression dwellers, I know we struggle with clutter/ junk.  We were taught to hold onto things because we MIGHT need them later.  I decided that the DESIRE of living a simple "stuff"-free life outweighed my FEAR of getting rid of something that I "might" need later.  I haven't regretted any decisions yet.  I have only reaped the blessings of feeling lighter, simpler, and more godly like the pioneers.  If the pioneers were happy focusing on the Book of Mormon, temple work, and other simple doctrinal truths, then I can be happy focusing on those things too.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Is someone stuck in wrong time period?  She sure is cute though.


Purging,
Ma,
Lindsay

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Helping in the Vineyard

Dear Readers,

Hey all.  I've been thinking of you.  I'm really excited to post today (that means Daughter is napping!).  I just care so much about you, when I've never met so many of you.

I really hope that everyone who comes to my blog will learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ and want to become more like like Him.  I really hope that you strive each day to be the best person that you can even if it means making changes that sometimes hurt in the moment.

Today I am sharing something that I haven't known about for too long.  I stumbled upon it when I was looking for something else, so I honestly don't know how long it has been around.  It is a website called The Vineyard.

This site lists service opportunities that you can complete to help the Church out.  As we transition to this digital media age, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints needs help getting all of its' information and resources put together.  Think of it as online service projects.

Because it is new.  It is a very simple site that is easy to use.  There are FAQs to help you get started.  You do need an LDS Account, but if you are LDS (Mormon) you probably already have one.  You DO NOT need to be Mormon to get an LDS Account and help in The Vineyard.  Start here to get an account if you need.

Next time you are going to waste time log into a social networking site, check out The Vineyard instead!

Now if you are wondering how I have time to help in the Vineyard, be an Indexer, teach 20 piano students, serve in Spanish Branch, feed missionaries 3 times a week, run a marathon, parent my daughter, love my spouse, complete my visiting teaching, learn how to sew, maintain this blog, and do whatever else I tell you I do,

I will write up a post right now, and post it on Friday (because I already have something for tomorrow.)

Friend M this is for you!  This is 7 months overdue.  Forgive me, but come back on Friday.

Helpfully and Friendly,
Lindsay

Sunday, September 4, 2011

21 Appointments

Dear Brother,

I don't know that I've had the chance to explain this to you.  There are 3 sets of missionaries in the Spanish Branch that we attend (2 Elders, 1 Sisters).  That means that the Branch is responsible for 21 dinner appointments every week.  They are NOT allowed to eat together, so that really means 21 separate dinner appointments every week.  For the small congregation (this is a branch!), it means that EVERYONE gets the opportunity to feed the the missionaries very regularly.

We actually now feed them 3 times a week (once per set).  The Elders awhile back said they sit at home and eat Top Ramen soup if they do not have an appointment, so we do our best to always find time for them to come.

It has been such a blessing for our family.  I love it because missionaries are supposed to teach everyone.  This includes my family.  They also give challenges.  At any one time we have three challenges to work on!!!  And you know how I love a challenge.  These have included praying for less-active members of the Branch and how we can help them, to making the sacrament more meaningful, listening to the words of hymns, attending the temple regularly, etc.

All of these challenges all revolve around the Doctrine of Christ.  Our Stake President has requested that the missionaries share this with all of the members.  It is so amazing to see the different angles that the missionaries come up with to teach us something NEW about the Doctrine of Christ every single time.  Even the new mission presidents this year were instructed about the Doctrine of Christ.  (I loved reading about the seminar, but the video made me want to serve a mission more than ever!)

The missionaries also provide a great example for Daughter.  If she goofs off during a prayer, we can say, "Did Elder so-and-so goof off during the prayer?"  Or if she eats with poor table manners we can say, "Did you see the Sisters eating like puppy dogs?"  It is great to have more bodies around the dinner table.  They are not a burden at all, we look forward to it.

In fact, I have been surprised at how they have not impacted our grocery budget.  I know you are probably tired of hearing about my financial blessings, but I am just SO grateful.  We have not increased the amount that we spend on groceries every month, although I have increased the quantity AND quality of food that I buy.  I am so grateful to be blessed with the opportunity to feed the missionaries 3 times a week and with this blessing of resources, I plan to do it as long as I live here.

I love missionary work.

Love,
Lindsay

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Meet Lindsay

Dear Readers,

I'm still here.  I'm still me, but I feel like we need to get reacquainted.  It's been such a busy time this Spring/Summer that I just feel disorganized on this blog.  I know I have posting snippets, but I know there is so much more to me and my testimony than what I am able to show.

Hi.  I'm Lindsay.

No,

Hi, I'm Lindsay!!!

I'm glad you're here.  I'm glad we're friends.  This is my place where I share about the things that I believe, because it is our beliefs that make up who we are.

This is what I look like.  I took this picture 2 minutes ago.  I went outside just for you so that you could see I am a regular person (no primping, just the real me).  I spent my morning at the zoo, drew chalk pictures with my daughter, and ate restaurant leftovers for lunch.

I'm a Mormon.  A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


I like to smile. You could even say that being a Mormon makes me happy.

My family also makes me happy.  I believe that families are forever.



 I will be with them for eternity.  The temple makes this possible.


I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.  Husband makes me so happy.


I like to pray.  I like to read my scriptures.  I like to stay close to my Heavenly Father.  This is my secret to happiness.  When I try to do things my way, without Him, I'm miserable.

That's why I love being a Mormon.  You can read my profile on mormon.org.

You can catch up on this blog and start from the very beginning (that'd take a long time).

This is me back in April (yeah it's time to catch up).


I cut my hair.  I've been meaning to tell you.


Sometimes it flips out.


 It also gets big in the humidity.  I don't like that, but it's me.


I am addicted to teaching piano lessons.  I have 20 students.  I love teaching students and watching them learn.  I love being an interested person in their life and development and growth.  Kids are the future!  I love music, but piano lessons is just a way for me to work with these developing youth.

I bought a sewing machine and I love it.  I have things to show you!!!  I'm a natural sewer!!! (at the easy stuff that is.)  I also love paper crafts, but I don't scrapbook.  Cards are my specialty.

Family dinner is a must in our house.  I like to cook/ bake/ make dinner and other things.

I still don't know Spanish, but last night Daughter said "Gracias" to our server at a Mexican restaurant.  It was funny.  She thought she was pretty cool.  It was cool.  She thought of it all by herself when she heard the next table over speaking Spanish.

We're not really adopting.  That's the funny thing about listening to the Spirit.  If you listen He will tell you things.  After researching local agencies, national agencies, LDS Family Services, international adoption options, designated adoption, etc we don't feel good about any adoption at this time.  Why did it change?  I don't know either, but our time will come.  We will keep listening to the Spirit.

I have learned that every time we listen to the Spirit, I learn something, even when he re-routes my life from a different direction than I was going in.  Thank you for your prayers anyways.

I'm a goof.

No, I wouldn't define myself as a goof, but

this is me crawling through one of those bounce-y things.  I'm way too classy to be a goof and there's no such thing as a classy goof.


I like to have good old-fashioned wholesome fun.  I majored in college in Recreation Management and Youth Leadership.  Husband learned how to pull teeth.  I learned how to throw a party!!!  No joke.  I know how to play games and have fun (without sitting in front of a screen).  These are valuable skills I tell you.

While I prefer to put my polished foot forward, I am also the lady who spilled a whole carton of blueberries in the check-out line at the store.  I also tripped at Church and fell to the floor.  I regularly put my foot in my mouth, though thankfully not as often as I used to.  I have a hard time throwing things away and struggle to keep plants alive.

I don't like to focus on my faults, but you can rest assured that I have them.  I'm not trying to hide them or be fake to you, but when I focus on them it takes my attention away from becoming better.  So, I like to keep things positive.

This year I am trying to reach out to others.  I am also trying to become more missionary minded.  I love to improve myself to become more like my Savior Jesus Christ.

Currently I am counting down the days to General Conference.  I REALLY love to read/ listen to General Conference.  I also want to start my "Out of the Mouth of Prophets" series again.

I am also missing my trip to Nauvoo.  I can't say enough about visiting Nauvoo and Carthage, IL.  We love the pioneers at our house.  I am only taking down our pioneer decorations today so that they will be "fresh" for Daughter's birthday later this year.  Yes, my daughter is having a pioneer themed birthday.  She is also receiving a pioneer dress as a present and she can't wait.

For now, this is the best get-up I can provide.


I love that girl!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am very blessed to be her mother.

Thanks for reading.  I just found out this week that I have 7 subscribers.  I don't even know exactly what that means, but thanks!  I hope that you are up-lifted and can feel of my love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It's been nice to meet you.  I hope you feel like you know the current me now.  (I am always changing!)

Your friend,
Lindsay