08 December 2010

Mark & Family

Robert, Scott, Davey, Annie,
Janet, Jolinda, Mark, Kate
The Grandkids

Thanksgiving Together
Mark, Jolinda and family
My brother Mark got to go up to Idaho and celebrate Thanksgiving with the whole family. Their newest grandson is Baby Jason who was only a few weeks old. Found these pictures from Yvonne and David's blog and Paige and Robert's blog. I just had to post them. They're all so cute.

14 October 2010

"Anxiously Engaged"


Adam & Sally
I love this picture of my brother Adam and his soon to be wife Sally. Here's a favorite quote about marriage.
"Marriage is sanctified
when it is cherished
and honored in holiness.
That union is not
merely between husband and wife;
it embraces a partnership with God. "
~Russell M. Nelson

12 October 2010

Line Upon Line

I loved general conference and was touched by each and every speaker but my favorites were: Elder Holland, Bishop Edgley, President Uchtdorf (priesthood session) President Packer, and Elder Lawrence. I truly thank God for our prophet and general authorities in the church. Here are a few of my favorite quotes.

"Missionary service is a priesthood duty."
~Thomas S. Monson
"I am grateful for all the women of the church who in my life have been as strong as Mount Sinai and as compassionate as the Mount of Beatitudes."
~Jeffrey R. Holland
"The world will teach our children if we do not..."
~Rosemary M. Wixom
"The living prophet is receiving specific revelations for us.
~Claudio R.M. Costas
"A teacher's attitude is not taught; it's caught.
~David M. McConkie
"...honor is the rich soil in which the seed of faith thrives."
~D. Todd Christopherson
"There comes a time where milestones can become millstones and amibitions, albatrosses around our necks."
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Whenever we disobey, we spiritually paint ourselves into a corner and are captive to our choices.
~Robert D. Hale
"...honesty can play a significant role in establishing light and truth and improving society..."
~Quentin L. Cook
"I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith, I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism."
~Richard C. Edgley
"Surely, one of the crowning blessings of membership in the church is the blessing of being led by living prophets of God."
~Kevin R. Duncan
"Infinite and eternal, only our Savior's Atonement transcends time and space to swallow up death, anger, bitterness, unfairness, loneliness and heartbreak."
~Gerrit W. Gong
"If we are not watchful, our injured, childlike spirit will retreat back into the cold, dark crust of our former bloated ego, leaving behind the warm, healing light of the Savior."
~Neil L. Andersen
"We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become..."
~Richard G. Scott
"Whether full-time missionaries or members, we should be good examples of the believers in Jesus Christ."
~Russel M. Nelson
"We find healing and relief only when we bring ourselves to the feet of the Great Physician, our Savior, Jesus Christ."
~Patrick Kearon
"Our homes have to be a place where the Holy Spirit dwells."
~Juan Uceda
"Pride is the great sin of self-elevation. It is for so many, a personal Rameumptom, a holy stand that justifies envy, greed and vanity.
~Dieter F. Uchdorf
"We cultivate spiritual gifts by keeping the commandments and trying to live a blameless life."
~Henry B. Eyring
"Decisions determine destiny."
~Thomas S. Monson
"God knows you each individually. He sends messages of encouragement, correction and direction fitted to you and your needs."
~Henry B. Eyring
"...moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot."
~Boyd K. Packer
"The things of the Spirit are sacred and hard to express."
~Elder Jay E. Jensen
"Covenant keepers strive to be obedient at all times...and in all places."
~Mary N. Cook
"If personal religious practice relies too much on the priesthood line, individual growth suffers."
~Dallin H. Oaks
"We can lift ourselves and others as well as we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thoughts and cultivate within our hearts, an attitude of gratitude."
~Thomas S. Monson
"The priesthood you bear is a special gift, for the giver is the Lord Himself. Use it, magnify it and live worthy of it."
~L. Tom Perry
"Receiving the Holy Ghost starts with our sincere, constant desire for His companionship in our lives."
~David A. Bednar
"There are no perfect parents and no easy answers but there are principles of truth that we can rely on."
~Larry R. Lawrence
"Faith in Jesus Christ and following his teachings gives us a firm hope and this hope becomes a solid anchor to our souls."
~Per G. Malm
"What may appear to be of little importance, such as going to bed late, not praying for a day, skipping fasting or breaking the Sabbath--such little slips--will make us lose sensitivity, little by little, allowing us to do worse things."
~Jairo Mazzagardi
"...our kind, wise Heavenly Father has given us commandments not to restrict us, as the adversary would have us believe, but to bless our lives and to protect our good name and our legacy for future generations."
~Mervyn B. Arnold
"...there is hope for the addicted and this hope comes through the Lord Jesus Christ..."
~M. Russel Ballard
"We live in a troubled world, a world of many challenges. We are here on this earth to deal with our many challenges to the best of our ability, to learn from them, and to overcome them."
~Thomas S. Monson

30 September 2010

Happy Farmer's Thousand Island Dressing

Coach and his great-grandbaby Dexter

Thousand Island Dressing

1 pint miracle whip
3 boiled eggs (chopped)
1/4 cup green onion (chopped)
2 Tablespoons sweet relish
1/2 cup ketchup
1 pimento (chopped)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: Mix ingredients and let set overnight in refrigerator before serving. My dad loves salad and this was his favorite dressing.

"The Happy Farmer"

My Dad (Coach) loved having a garden. After the kids all grew up, dad took down the above-ground pool in the backyard and put a garden in its place. He also had lots of fruit trees. He loved doing a garden mainly because I think he loved sharing all the fruits and vegetables with loved ones. One year he even came to North Carolina and I asked him to do three things, help me start a garden, help me coach my daughter's softball team and vacuum my floors. He was great at all of them and I loved having him and mom stay with me that spring. I had a great ball team, wonderful garden and the cleanest floors. Ironically, about eight years ago when I went to visit my parents, I noticed that my dad wasn't coaching ball, didn't have a garden and the floors in their house hadn't been vacuumed in a very long time. It was then I truly suspected something was wrong with Coach. Later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. After my mom passed away last year, we were blessed to have my niece Cassie live with him and then there's Teresa his caregiver who comes faithfully each day and takes care of him. What a blessing it is to have their love and care for my dad. It has taken a lot of burden off our family. My sister Martha, her husband and family have done so much. I am so grateful to them. I like to refer to Coach as "The Happy Farmer" because he loved to garden and he could play the song on the piano. Jessica has been playing that same song now for the past three weeks so its made me think a lot of my dad. Coach is truly "The Happy Farmer."

"The Lord knows and loves
the elderly among His people.
It has always been so..."
~Ezra Taft Benson

29 September 2010

Brace Yourself

Jessica got her braces this week and we're happy she's trying to smile about it.

"The world always looks brighter
from behind a smile."

21 September 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Dottie the Dog

Well I'm back to blogging. Just thought I'd start by posting some summer highlights. We had a full fun summer. Even had time to play with Dottie. Here she is waiting for me to hit her a tennis ball. What a dog!
Me, Kellee, Carson & Jessica
at Kellee's Graduation
We've had such a joy spending time with Cousin Kellee. We started off our summer by attending her graduation. We are really proud of her accomplishments. She's moved on and is attending Brigham Young University. If she does as well in college as she did in high school...She will Do great!
Angie, Jessica & Janna
Beach Fun!
You never know who might come visit if you just ask. Cousin Janna from California just graduated from high school and came to see us. It was so wonderful to have her. This picture is of them having fun at the Kure Beach.
Angie and Friends from Single's Ward
River Rafting
Angie came back in June and found a job here in Fayetteville at High Smith Rainey Hospital. She lives only ten minutes away and likes the single's ward. She shares teaching gospel doctrine class. One of their fun activities this summer was going river rafting. Do you think she might be having too much fun?

Jessica & Sophia
Stake Camp 2010

I'm so glad that my girls have had good experiences at YW Camp. Its good to know that they can have fun even in North Carolina where it's hot and muggy in the summer. Here's Jessica acting goofy with a friend from the ward. As my mother would say: "the fruit don't fall to far from the tree. "

Dave and some of the Youth and Adult Leaders
Stake Youth Conference
"A More Nobler Desire"
Dave and I got to be host parents for a group of young men at our youth conference. The theme was "A More Nobler Desire" A week before youth conference they were given a challenge to go on a digital fast: no tv, movies, texting, or computer except for absolute necesities like summer homework or keeping in contact with parents. Then the youth did service projects all weekend. Some of our activities included reading the newspaper to the blind over the radio, feeding the homeless in downtown Fayetteville and putting up a fence for a neighbor. It was great experience and helped us all to keep our priorites in order.
Jake the Graduate
Bachelors in Geography
with a minor in Spanish
Jake had a Summertime Graduation. Since BYU doesn't have a ceremony in December, Jake had his celebration in August. He still has a class he's finishing up with for Fall Semester and will be done in December. Then what? Well, we shall see.
When I moved to North Carolina, one of my first friends was Hilda Brock and she was a wonderful primary music leader. At the end of the summer she would teach the primary children the song: "Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime" after they would learn it she then let the children make up their own verses. I thought it was so clever. I'm so glad I witnessed this wonderful woman sharing her talent and light to all.
Here's my feeble attempt to honor her love for music and show how our family spent the summer:
Oh, what do you do in the summertime
when all the world is green,
do you swim in a pool,
graduate from school,
or play with your dog all day long.
Is that what you do?
So do I.

20 June 2010

The Power of the Priesthood

Coach, Adam, me, Mark, Martha
I love my Dad but our relationship wasn't always smooth sailing. I'll never forget on one occasion when I was a teenager and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary (typical teenager) and my parents wouldn't let me do it (typical parents) and we had this huge blow up with a lot of angry words being said. I went to my room in a huff, thinking my parents could never really understand me and they were just "jerks." But then something happened that I never would have anticipated. My dad came into my room sheepishly and asked if he could talk and I hesitantly agreed. He took out the scriptures and read to me in Doctrine Covenants 121 about how the power of the priesthood's influence could only be made through, persuasion, long-suffering, by gentleness, and meekness, love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge...Anyway, he then told me something very simple, "I'm sorry" and left the room. The Holy Spirit touched me that day. I knew my father wasn't perfect but from that moment on, I knew how perfect the priesthood was. I'm so grateful for the priesthood and power and influence it has had in my life and I'm grateful for a father who honored it the best way he could.
Coach, me and Mom
October 2009
"Fathers are so special,
with a very special love,
They watch us and protect us.
They guide us and direct us
back to our home above."
~Dawn Hughes Ballantyne

19 June 2010

Strawberry Cake

Stake Relief Society Conference
Strawberry Cake
1 strawberry cake mix
2 cups strawberries (crushed with sugar to taste)
12 oz. cool whip topping
16 oz. sour cream
1/2 cup sugar

Directions: Mix and bake cake as directed with cake mix for a 9x13 pan. Let cool 10 minutes and then poke wholes around the cake with a fork. Put crushed strawberry mixture on cake and let chill in refrigerator. Then mix sour cream with sugar until sugar is disolved. Fold sour cream mixture with cool whip and then put on top of cake.

This cake is from my dear friend Debbie R. who is truly my "Cooking & Baking Lifeline" We made this for our Stake Relief Society Conference and froze the cakes after poking holes with a fork. Then the day before the conference, we topped them with the strawberry mixture and then the sour cream mixture and kept them in the refrigerator. It was fantastic! Has such a light fresh tasted. Love you Debbie.

11 June 2010

My Redheaded Grandnephew

It's a boy!

David, Yvonne & Peter

Peter Allen Reynders
9th June 2010
7 lbs. 14 oz.
We have a celebrity in the family. Peter Allen, born to my nephew David & wife Yvonne, son of my brother Mark and wife Jolinda. I say celebrity because it took 21 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren before getting another baby with red hair in our family like my other brother Adam has. My mother always said she was so excited when my brother was born with red hair and she thought it was a shame that none of her grandchildren had red hair. My mother passed away in November and I don't know if there is some cosmic way of putting in requests about specific characteristics in our family lineage, but if my mom had her say about it, she was going to get her another red headed baby in the family. Only heaven knows. Another fun fact about Peter is he's named after my great great grandfather who was the first immigrant from our Reynders family line to settle in America. He was from The Netherlands and the dutch spelling was:
"P I E T E R ~ R E I J N D E R S"
Today is my dad's birthday, so what a fun birthday present for my dad to have this handsome new guy in the family.
"Blonds are noticed but
redheads are never forgotten."

David & Yvonne

31 May 2010

Memorial Day

Yesterday at church we had talks about memorial day and I've said before, how blessed I feel to live near Fort Bragg and be reminded constantly that there are men and women who serve courageously for our country. We have some great families that come and go in this area that I know the Lord and angels are attending. I'm so gratful for them and thankful that we still live in a country that desire freedom for all.
On a lighter note...General Richard Petraus recently spoke at Brigham Young University and gave his:

10 — They have already been on many a mission.
9 — Army chow is no problem for folks accustomed to eating green Jell-o and shredded carrots.
8 — It's not a problem if they don't know what rank someone is, they just refer to them as Brother or Sister so-and-so.
7 — They never go AWOL. They just call it being less active.
6 — They will seize any objective swiftly if you tell them refreshments will be served.
5 — They know how to make things happen. In fact if you ever need a base built quickly in a barren wasteland, stride out to where you want them to start, plant your walking stick down and say in a loud voice, "This is the place."
4 — They have innovative ideas for handling insurgents — like assigning them home teachers.
3 — They always have a years' supply of provisions on hand.
2 — They are the world's most reliable designated drivers.
1 — They understand how far Iraq has come over the last seven years, and they think that Iraq's old spot in the "Axis of Evil" can now be filled by the University of Utah.

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!
~Katherine Lee Bates

26 May 2010

Young Women's Graduation Party

gifts from Young Women Leaders
Beautiful decorations

(Sis. Kim B., Sis. Jackie W., Kelsey B., Sis. Allison R.,
Kellee B., Sis. Leana A., Sis. Ashley G., Sis. Maria S.,
Caroline S., Sis. Jackie D., Melissa G.)
Young Women Graduates
and all the leaders throughout
their Young Women's Experience

Last night was a wonderful event for our young women graduates in the ward. They had a dinner, girls singing karaoke, games and remarks from the Bishop. Graduating girls received in their favorite color a laundry basket, towel, photo box, hot chocolate and cup, picture frame, name plaques, favorite recipes from the Relief Society sisters, parting notes from parents and leaders. It was a wonderful event. I liked that they invited all Young Women's leaders past and present that had been in the lives of these Young Women and you could tell all were thrilled to be there. All girls are going to college and have lots to look forward to.
"Be strong, and of good courage..."

19 May 2010

St. Louis Trip, Angie's Graduated

We just got back from witnessing Angie's graduation at St. Louis University. She's now got her bachelor's in nursing and is planning on getting her license in North Carolina and working in the Raleigh area. Watch out!
"Nurses call the SHOTS!"

07 May 2010

Called to Sing

My very talented niece, Janet Reynders, is going to Historic Nauvoo Illinois to be a Young Performing Missionary where she will sing, dance and testify. She leaves today and will be there all summer. She will get to participate in the performances for Historic Nauvoo and we are all excited for her. You can follow Janet's mission on her blog, "Summertime in Nauvoo"
If any of you plan to visit Nauvoo this summer, tell her that Aunt Beth said Hello.
"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart..." ~Doctrine & Covenants 25:12
(Historic Nauvoo Website)

04 May 2010

Grandma & Me

Since this week we celebrate Mother's Day, I've been thinking about how this will be the first Mother's Day since my mom has passed away. I've been pondering about the special women in my life besides my mom. The first one would have to be my maternal grandmother, Grandma Cassie. I feel blessed because not all grandchildren get to live close to their grandma. We didn't always live in the same town, but soon after my grandfather died when I was about eight years old, my grandmother moved to our town, Lancaster, California. She lived there with her older sister my "Aunt Pearl" for awhile. I loved going and spending the night with them. We would bake cookies and watch Lawrence Welk and the Doris Day Show on TV. Later, Grandma moved near the high school and I can remember walking to her apartment during lunch time and she'd have a bacon and tomato sandwich waiting for me. It was my favorite. She loved to serve. As she got older and she would think about death, I can remember telling her, "Grandma, I don't want you to ever die, I need you. Don't talk about dying." Years later when she had a stroke and had broke her hip a couple of times and really couldn't get around anymore, Grandma had one last special gift for me. It was when we had lost our infant son, Steven and I was grieving a lot. The veil was very thin with my Grandma and most of the family knew that it was getting near for her time to pass on. I can remember going to my grandmother's bedside. In our conversation, it seemed like she had been hanging on to those words from when I was younger..."I don't want you to die..." I can remember telling her how much I loved her and even with all the knowledge of knowing that my baby had gone to a safe place, I knew I would feel better knowing that this wonderful woman that I cared for so very much would be there with him...Well, within a few weeks from that time, Grandma Cassie passed away. I love that woman. She was so good to me.
"You give me a kiss,
You give me a hug,
You smile when you see me too.
I wish every child
in the whole wide world,
had a grandmother
just like you."
~Nonie Nelson Sorensen

01 May 2010

Potato Cheese Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 cups diced potatoes(about 6)
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 15 oz. Cheez Whiz
  • Directions: Boil potatoes, celery and onion in chicken broth for 10 minutes or until tender. In another pan, mix melted butter with flour. Add milk and cook until thickened. Add sauce to vegetables, then add cheese. Heat until warm.

24 April 2010

Dance with me

Jessica & Kellee
Jessica's first church dance.
"Mormon Prom"

14 April 2010

Round, Round, the Roller Coasters

Everyone that knows me knows I can't do roller coasters...I'm talking about those BIG ones. So when my husband's cousin Jeanette asked if we wanted to spend a day with them at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, I was hesitant. Somehow I had gotten out of taking Angie and Jake to any big roller coaster amusement parks when they were young. Usually they just went with their schoolmates or friends had invited them on their own. I've been feeling a little guilty with Jessica and Carson though because the only amusement park they've been to is Disneyland which isn't really considered a park with the mega roller coasters. So, to Williamsburg we went. Some how I thought that one of my kids would have inherited my genes and their stomachs would feel a little too uneasy, but no chance. They were literally running from roller coaster to roller coaster. It was really a blast to see how much fun they were having. They even caught me at a weak moment and I went on ride with them...never again. What was I thinking???
"We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

03 March 2010

Easy Chicken Dinner

  • 1 Bottle Russian Dressing or Catalina Dressing (16 oz.)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1 jar apricot preserves (10 oz.)
  • 4 pieces of chicken
  • Seasoned Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Combine Russian dressing, apricot preserves and onion soup mix in bowl and pour into the crockpot. Sprinkle the chicken with seasoned salt and pepper. Place chicken, skin side down, in slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours (HIGH 3 to 4 hours) Serves 4. I've also made this same recipe in the oven using a baking dish at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes.

17 February 2010

Angie's School Work

Angie~Counting the Days to Graduation

One of the great things that Angie has gotten to do is work at the "Casa de Salud" a wellness clinic for Hispanics in St. Louis. Getting lots of nursing experience and keeping up on her Spanish. She'll be graduating in May. Yippee!

A nurse is compassion in scrubs
~Lexie Saige

16 February 2010

Snow Trips up Marathon

Rare snow at Myrtle Beach had city officials cancel the Myrtle Beach Marathon. Our family went down to see Kellee run her first half marathon. We were all really disappointed but we still had a great time getting away and being with family.
We woke up to see the words "YANKEES RULE" outside our beachfront balcony the day of the marathon. Being southerners we took it to mean that the "northerners" would have still had the marathon which is probably true. The South cancel everything, even with a trace of snow. Anyway, Kellee and Jessica went down to the beach and crossed out "RULE" and wrote "YANKEES GO HOME"
Kellee, Ready to Run
Oh well, maybe we can find another race
Throwing food to the seagulls is always fun
Brave Jessica feeds them from her hand
Dave gives it a try too.

"Running is a mental sport...

and we're all insane!"

03 February 2010

New Information on SIDS

Today Steven David would have been 23 years old. Curiously, I went to the Internet to see if there was any recent news of the cause of SIDS and there is a new finding that babies with low levels of the chemical "serotonin" in their brains are linked to having more of a chance of being SIDS babies. Researchers are now looking into how babies can be screened to see if they have low serotonin levels.
Research has come a long way since our tragedy with Steven and SIDS. I believe it was a little bit after Steven died that SIDS organizations came out with their "Babies should be put to sleep on their backs" campaign and supposedly this prevented more deaths, even though its just one of more than a few risk factors for babies that die of SIDS.
Now, with this new research, maybe it will mean that many more families won't have to deal with this anguish. But, like Spencer W. Kimball has said about tragedy:

"...Being human,
we would expel from our lives
physical pain and mental anguish
and assure ourselves of continual
ease and comfort,
but if we were to close the doors upon sorrow and distress,
we might be excluding our greatest friends and benefactors.
Suffering can make saints of people
as they learn patience,
long-suffering, and self-mastery. . . ."

Oddly, for the most part, I've felt a sense of peace with what happened to Steven even though I 'm sad because I miss him and I wouldn't want the experience to happen to anyone...I understand it.

Video: Low serotonin levels linked to SIDS - Video News Live

02 February 2010

Wasn't This Bad But...

We had a pretty bad storm come in our area over the weekend. Here in our area, it only snowed a few inches but because it was so cold and we're not equipped for such storms here in the South, church meetings were cancelled on Sunday and also school was cancelled Monday and for two hours this morning.


Slow Cooker Carolina BBQ

1 (5 pound) bone-in pork shoulder roast
1 Tablespoon salt
ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
DIRECTIONS: 1) Place the pork shoulder into a slow cooker and season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinegar around the pork. Cover, and cook on Low for 8 hours or until done. Pork should easily pull apart into strands. 2) Remove the pork from the slow cooker and discard any bones. Strain out the liquid, and save 2 cups. Discard any extra. Shred the pork using tongs or two forks, and return to the slow cooker. Stir the brown sugar, hot pepper sauce, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes into the reserved sauce. Mix into the pork in the slow cooker. Cover and keep on Low or Warm setting until serving.


Happy 18th Birthday
February 1st

29 January 2010

How I Met My Husband...

Beth & Dave 1983

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. I met Dave a few months after I had graduated from Brigham Young University in 1982. I went back to Provo to visit an old class chum and while I was sitting in the living room of her apartment, I could look out her window and see the front doors of all the other apartments in her building. As I sat, I watched how this guy was knocking on each door, going in for a little while and coming out and then going to the next door. At first I thought he was just some guy in the neighborhood mooching meals but there was something different about him. I asked my friend who he was and she said, "Oh that's just Dave, he's in the elder's quorum presidency, he goes around all the time, he'll be here in a minute. He's my home teacher" I was intrigued... was this guy for real or was he just trying to get brownies from some naive coeds. As I met him and we dated, I realized what a sincere, kind person he truly is. Today, I still know that he's that kind, young man I saw over twenty-seven years ago... always the one willing to listen and to help others. There's been times that I've thought, "he's too nice...he lets people abuse him." Then I think of the scripture, "charity suffereth long and is kind..." He's always been the example I've needed to be kind and loving to everyone.

"...I know that I am...the luckiest"

~Ben Folds

24 January 2010

Mission Memories

MTC 1977
Florida Ft. Lauderdale Spanish District
Day Before Leaving the MTC
Me ~ December 1979
My last day in the mission field
Last night our stake had a youth activity where our young men and women were called on missions and various returned missionaries taught the cultures of their missions and shared experiences. This week I was also contacted by a former missionary from my MTC district, so I have been pondering my mission experience, which I returned from thirty years ago last month. I've been especially thinking about my MTC experience.
I had a hard time learning spanish in my mission, especially at the MTC. All the missionaries seemed to be getting it so much quicker than me and it got me a little depressed. It wasn't until I got out in the mission field and I was speaking more fluently that I realized it wasn't how good you could speak the language that was important, what truly converted people to the gospel was the Holy Ghost. We were taught the importance of the spirit from the first day in the MTC but until it's seen in action, I can't really say that I understood that principle. I saw how the spirit touched converts and truly turned their hearts toward the gospel. In fact, the faith that I see in new converts still always amazes me and touches my heart to this day.
Anyway, back to my MTC experience. It was so great! Our district was a little bit crazy and it was good because the light-hearted fun of those missionaries really lifted my spirits and was a great start for my mission. Some of the missionaries in that district were the first missionaries to serve in the Dominican Republic so I feel pretty special to be associated with them.
(FYI ~ Why the short ties? It was tradition for the elders to wear their ties backwards the day before leaving the MTC and the sisters in my three-some wanted to get in on that tradition so we all wore short ties too.) Fun memories. Hurrah for Israel!
"I'll go where you want me to go,
Dear Lord...
I'll be what you want me to be."

08 January 2010

New Year's Eve

Our lives have truly been blessed over the holidays, especially having Angie & Jake home from college. They hung with us a lot but here's a picture of them going to a New Year's Eve Party.