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.

Brine Turkey

This is the first year that I made turkey with brine and wow, what in the world had we been missing. It was so tender and tasty...I'll never make a turkey without doing this method. I got this recipe off the food network but there are lots of different ways to brine a turkey. The most important thing is the salt and liquid...I didn't have any vegetable stock...water would work fine and I didn't have candied ginger. Enjoy!

1 1/4 cup salt (2 cups Kosher or coarse salt)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon allspice berries
1/2 tablespoon candied ginger (optional)
1 gallon ice water

DIRECTIONS: Pour vegetable stock into a large pot over a high heat. Add salt, brown sugar, and spices. Bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour in ice water and stir to combine. Place turkey in a large plastic container (at least 4 gallon). Pour brine over top. Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound.Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking. Otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey. Pat dry and roast.