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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nor is Lindsay their official spokesperson.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guiding Behavior

Dear Friend H,

Today during the Singing Time there were some boys who were making faces at me and being rude.  It hurt my feelings.  Since you are one of the oldest boys in Senior Primary, I was wondering if you would help me. I'd like for you to be a leader and an example to the other boys of how to sing during Singing Time and treat me with respect.  If you want to help me please check the "yes" box, sign your name and mail it back to me in the envelope provided.  Thank you so much for your help.  I know I can count on you.

Your Friend,
Sister Lindsay

You guessed it.  My little friend was indeed the ringleader of the face makers, non-singers, etc.  I decided to take a page from President Monson's playbook.  He has spoken of an experience many different times.  When he was in Primary he came across his Primary President and noticed she was upset.  She said it was because of the discipline problems.  He said he'd help her and then there were no more problems, because he too was the main cause of them at the time.  (one source here)

I couldn't resist the return card.  What little kid doesn't love sending and receiving mail.  I also thought this added an element of commitment on his part.  Fingers crossed the snarky comments stop.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Did You Forget It's Pioneer Day?

Dear Readers,

I wasn't going to post today (off schedule), but I guess everyone doesn't mark Pioneer Day on their calendar and anticipate it for weeks like I do.  When I was visiting teaching tonight, no one else remembered!!!

Today Daughter and I have enjoyed watching this (video below) several times.  I LOVE acoustic hymns.  I have so many CDs of folksy hymn arrangements.  I love thinking about the example of the pioneers and the idea that I can be one too.  Heavenly Father asks me to do hard things all the time.  Knowing that the pioneers were successful gives me motivation to get through my struggles.  Faith and courage are the two things that I really associate with pioneers.  I am a modern day pioneer.

Sorry, if you missed Pioneer Day, but remember not everyone entered the valley on July 24th, so remembering them everyday is appropriate :)

In Remembrance,

Monday, July 23, 2012

Searching for a Sister

Dear Readers,

I've been on a search for a few years now.  I'm searching for a "sister".  Now, I have biological sisters and sisters-in-law (sister-in-laws?, whatever) and that's the problem.  I know how great having a sister can be.  The problem is I haven't had the honor or privilege of living by a sister for years.

When I did live by my sister(s), I loved it!  I always had someone to call........and then visit, in person, the same day, or even within minutes if need be.  I am so jealous of those who live by sisters.  A sister is someone you can call when you're sick and they'll take care of your kids AND you.  I have never called someone from church and asked them if I could lay on their couch while they made me lunch and then proceeded to lay there for hours :)

Sisters provide rides, friendship, tell you when you're wearing something dumb, your haircut is lopsided, and you've said something uncalled for.  You don't have to clean up your house for sisters either.  When you have a "disaster zone" they see the true disaster and then help you clean it up, because they know where stuff goes in your house and what has to be a certain way to keep you sane.  Nowadays, I have to clean for 20 minutes when I tell someone that I have a "disaster" because I'm afraid of being gossip fodder because you never know what other people think a "disaster" should look like.  Some people's "disaster" are other people's "uninhabitable" and other people's "not even messy at all") Maybe this is why I move a lot.........just kidding.  (Someone can validate me in the comments section, shameless plug today, sorry, this is sensitive stuff!)

Are you catching on yet?  I could list millions of examples.  Sisters love your guts out, but they'd do anything for you even when it's inconvenient to them and their family, because they love you unconditionally and don't judge.

Having been away from my biological/ married into sisters for a few years and knowing that it'll be this way for a few more years has made me more determined than ever to find a "sister" who lives local to me that will love me and befriend me the way a real sister might.  I've been looking and I haven't succeeded.  Maybe it's me.  You have to be that kind of "sister" to find one in return.  This year's Visiting Teaching theme is working on being a better Visiting Teacher.  If you didn't know that, it's kind of loose and unofficial, but each month the message has been revolving around that idea (Here they are all in one place.).

This month's was entitled "Demonstrating Our Discipleship Through Love and Service".  It gave some pointers on things to do.  It worded it not as things to do to be a better visiting teacher, but that as we did these things our service would "close resemble the ministry of our Savior."  Win-win.  As we serve others, we better ourselves.  "Love them without judging them, establish sincere friendships with them and visit them in their homes and elsewhere, reach out to those in need of comfort".....great stuff here, all that makes me think of my sisters.  I also love how it mentions women of the New Testament as examples.  "Paul wrote of a woman named Phebe, who was “a servant of the church” (Romans 16:1). He asked the people to “assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many” (Romans 16:2). " (from Visiting Teaching Message, July 2012)  Aww, this has been going on forever.  Something about this just makes me feel really good to know.  It motivates me.  I want to lift others up and help them, because I like being a sister.

Seriously, EVERYONE says "Call me for anything."  Who really does?  There's a certain level that we feel we need to achieve on our own (at least for me).  I have a convoluted ranking system.  A cold doesn't count as "sick" so therefore I wouldn't call for help, however if I was in the hospital I might consider it.  I might drag my kids on errands much to the displeasure of all because that would sound "needy".  Yeah, convoluted is right.  It has to be an "emergency" or at least half of one to ask for help.  I know I'm not the only person with a problem because no one has called me on the edge of their sanity because they can't take their kids one more minute.  No one has called me asking me for food, money, or "doctoring" over a cold either.  Somehow we're programmed to have walls and if we could just take them down, imagine, sisters for all!

How funny is that?  I go to church every single Sunday and call every woman over the age of 18 "Sister".  Yet, I don't have a "sister" relationship with anyone?  Hmmm, an interesting perspective that makes me want to examine my actions.  I would love to have someone locally who I can go shoe shopping with (and buy matching shoes).  I would love to not have to worry about or second guess if it's really ok if she's watching my kids, or she's just doing it because she "owes" me, and is rolling her eyes secretly.

Oh, everyone lives states away (and no I don't live where the states are puny).  Those of you who are thinking, "I'll be your sister.  I wish you lived close to me."  You know what I have to say....  Go do thou likewise to someone who lives near you, who needs a sister, because I guarantee you there are plenty who are searching.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Family Night

Dear Readers,

It's Monday!  My family will be having Family Home Evening.  Will yours?

I love my family.  As I was thinking about my love for my family today, I decided to visit to see what resources they held for me.

I clicked on "Building a Strong Family" and was pleasantly surprised to see several links to topics that would benefit my family.  There are 4 sections listed; Keys to Strong Families, Strengthening Husband and Wife Relationships, Strengthening Parent and Child Relationships, Strengthening Individual Family Members.  I have questions about parenting my daughter.  I saw answers to the very things I was wondering about under "Strengthening Parent and Child Relationships".

I did notice that all of these links came from the Family Home Evening Resource Book, so I already had the answers in my home and didn't even know it.  The information isn't anything new or earth-shattering as the Family Home Evening Resource Book (buy here) has been around awhile and I am thankful for that.  It's the same little things that build strong families.

I also liked that in the sidebar it listed a link for "Places to Visit".  If you click there it takes you to a page that has Visitor Centers, Historic Sites, and Pageants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Summer's not over yet.  There still is time for a vacation and what better place to go than a church sponsored site/ event.  I am a big believer in family vacations and apparently the Church is too.  I know they build strong families.  It was something that I loved all growing up and now my family does too.  We make it a priority to go, even if it means going on a limited vacation budget (i.e. no four star hotel accommodations or fancy restaurants) or adjusting our monthly budget and cutting out the four star hotel accommodations and fancy restaurants, (ha, I wish!).

We went to Nauvoo, IL last summer!  And we loved it!  And we may or may not have returned there this summer, but I'm not spilling the beans yet (and we may or may not have eaten PBJ sandwiches for lunch everyday).

I just have family on the brain today!  I love them so much.

Here is a semi-recent picture of said family.  I don't think I've posted a picture for awhile:


Friday, July 13, 2012

We All Believe The Same Thing

Dear Readers,

I've thoroughly been enjoying my time these past few months.  I apologize for anyone who has missed my posting.  I truly feel sorry if you came expecting to read something and there wasn't anything new.

Over the past few months I've traveled a little bit and also just sat around lazily enjoying sunny days at the beach with my family.  Can I get a "Yay" for family?  And a double "Yay" for true relaxation!!!

I don't want anyone to think that I stopped posting because I ran out of ideas, or that I was wavering in my faith and commitment to the gospel of Christ.  That is simply NOT true.  This is also why I feel it is important to post today and let you know that,

I DO have a testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ, that He atoned for me.  I love Him and He KNOWS and loves me.

My devotion to Him has not wavered at all this summer, though my presence here might be interpreted as such.  If anything my relationship with Him has been strengthened and my understanding of Him has been deepened in ways that I never thought possible.

Recently there was a period of 5 Sundays in a row where I attended a different congregation (all LDS) each Sunday.  There were circumstances that dictated this occurrence as this obviously isn't normal.  Between my other travelling this summer, I have attended 2 additional congregations to the ones previously listed and another stake's Stake Conference.  I attended wards that were so big it looked like Stake Conference as the chapel and gym were filled.  I attended wards that were so small they met in a teeny meetinghouse where the chapel and the gym were the same room (so no pews, just chairs they could remove to play basketball after partitioning off the rostrum).  In some areas members traveled 30 minutes to get to church.  In other places, members traveled 3 minutes to get to church.  Some wards were loud and filled with children fidgeting.  Others were silent with nary a sound.  I attended wards where the language spoken was English.  I attended congregations where the language spoken was Spanish.  I heard choirs sing some places, but not others.  I heard visiting general authorities, visiting teaching conferences, firesides, Relief Society activity nights, testimony meetings, and regular Sunday sacrament meetings.  I talked to many missionaries asking about the work in their location.  Sometimes I was meeting old friends.  Sometimes I was making new friends.  All of this was spread out between 5 different states and thousands of miles.

Guess what?

We all believe the same thing!  Sunday schools everywhere were studying The Book of Mormon.  The sacrament was administered in the same fashion in each locale.  The proper priesthood authority presided over meetings everywhere I went.  Testimonies about Christ and God's love were freely shared and given everywhere I went.

It has been a wonderful summer to be surrounded by so many other people who believe the same thing.  You might say that we are just a large group of people dedicated to their church.  We are loyal and faithful and that's why we go...because of the church as an institution.  I would say that we go to these meetinghouses because we love the Savior and his Doctrine and know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us that necessitates us being a member of the one church that has the proper authority and truthfulness here on the Earth.  And to know that there are people who share this same belief located all around the world is quite thrilling.  It strengthens me.  I know that I have only witnessed a small taste as I didn't even leave the United States this summer.

People always say that the Church is the same everywhere and that's true.  The administration and programs are standardized.  Even more amazing to me is the faith, devotion, and testimonies of the believers and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  People are praying everywhere for peace, love, and hope from the atonement.  People are feeling joy from keeping the commandments in every nation around the world.

I wish every person in the world could share this joy and feel such hope.  It motivates me to open my mouth and share.  I am teaching Chapter 13: Doing Our Part to Share the Gospel this Sunday and so I will be sharing some these same thoughts with my class.

Ever yours,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Describe Your Religious Beliefs

Dear Readers,

I can't keep track what day of the week it is.  It must mean that it is summertime!  I don't know why I don't schedule all of my posts, because I'd look a lot smoother if I did.

Anyways, I was recently faced with the task of filling out a questionnaire.  It included the statement:

"Describe your current religious beliefs and practices."

I knew the questionnaire would only be read by 1-2 people, so I didn't want to stress over it...too much.  On the other hand, I didn't know which two people would read my answer, and possibly the effects that could come from reading my answer.  I wanted it be accurate and also as complete as possible.  I was only given a few lines to hand write my answer on so I knew I wasn't going to be able to write out the whole doctrine of Christ/ Plan of Salvation, my testimony, the 12 articles of Faith, and what I do with my family, personal life, and ward congregation that would describe my "practices".  Eeks!

This is what I wrote.
"I believe that God is my Heavenly Father who created me.  Jesus Christ is my Savior and atoned for me.  I follow the doctrine of Christ.  I was baptized and I was married in one of God's holy temples.  I believe that I will live with God again and with my family in the next life.  The family is the most basic unit of society.  Our family is responsible to help one another follow Christ.  Parents have a sacred obligation to love, care for and nurture their children.  I read my scriptures and follow the teachings of God's prophets as they preach His words.  I am a Mormon."
I don't know who ended up reading it, but I felt like I did a good job considering the small space that I had.  I especially love that I was prompted to reference The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  I've been thinking about families a lot the past few weeks.  I also love how I ended it with "I am a Mormon."  I live in a place with not too many Mormons.  Whoever ended up reading my questionnaire would now know where to find information....guess I should have written ""?  Too pushy.  No, it just feels good to know that I didn't back down from a situation to share about the doctrine of Christ.  I have many "missed opportunities" in my life, mainly because I didn't realize it was an opportunity until after it was over.  I'm trying to change that and embrace an opportunity to share my religious beliefs.