I’M BEING TRANSFERRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in shock. I’ve only been here 2 transfers, and with Sister Shober for 1. They normally leave YSA missionaries in for like 6 months! I am so confused!
Anyway, Sarah is being baptized on Saturday and I will not be there for the last lessons! I’m super sad, but I will be able to come for her baptism. She is doing awesome! She finished the Book of Mormon and loved it! Bro. Greiner, the institute teacher is baptizing her and she is just stoked!!!! She’s starting the New Testament. She is AMAZING! And her family are being very supportive.
We taught Nina again this week, and it was awesome. We brought a member, who’s name is also Nina, who is convert from an Indian background. She shared her testimony and experience with Christ knowing her individual circumstances and how He has shown His hand in her life.
We’ve had a few awesome people fall into our laps this week, who are really prepared, but I will not be here to see it. So sad :(
I am sad to be transferred and am striving to live by these words this week from 1 Nephi 3:7.
I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them, that they may accomplish the things which He commandeth them.
Trying hard to catch up on these mission posts! My hand injury got me so far behind and I am just starting to get back on top of my life. Her never-ending use of the word “chill” cracks us all up…and now she is calling Gladys Knight “super chill!”
We just hit week 6 of this transfer! That is insane! Inconceivable! :)
This week was pretty weird. I was in my area the whole time, though, so that was good. We didn’t get a ton of lessons, but the ones we did get were really awesome! We met with Sarah and I finally got to meet the referral from the other elders for the YSA girl. She’s pretty awesome and we’re super excited to keep teaching her.
I have been trying really hard to love these people here. I don’t know why, but it has been way harder. In my last area it was so natural, and that’s never really been a struggle for me, but I’ve been feeling like my heart is closed lately and I couldn’t figure out why. My first transfer in this zone there were problems going on in the zone that I didn’t really know about, but I could just feel that it was not as unified as RSM. I was really feeling like an outsider, and I missed feeling like I had real friends here. And I was having a hard time loving both the members and investigators, which was so odd for me. I was praying about that the last few weeks, and finally just asked to be able to have the love He has for them, and the next lesson we had I just felt so much love for that person. The zone now is a lot better, and we are pretty much as close as RSM was, and I have felt a lot better about it. They really feel like my family now.
Also, something funny. At the Gladys Knight thing, we were standing in line, and I suddenly saw these two missionaries walking past, and it’s Michael Francis who I trained at the carwash!!! I was like “Elder Francis?!” and we freaked out a little. I was lucky I saw him first, because he was so shocked that he blurted out my first name! :) It was pretty funny! I think he got to come, since he is in the Orange YSA, and they cover Irvine, even though it’s out of their mission. Anyway, that was pretty hilarious!
Sister Shober was asked to play the piano for the elders in the YSA in sacrament meeting and then to sing a song there. She was also asked to play for a baptism service, and there are a few other songs she’s involved with coming up, so every spare moment we had this week were spent practicing. Sunday was even more crazy than usual, with the musical numbers for YSA, and right after church we had to run to the baptism, then right after that we met with the zone to practice another song. Crazy.
This week was good though. The Gladys Knight Devotional was awesome. She’s super chill and it was just so good. We’re still waiting to see the results, but people really liked it!
We got to go the temple on Friday. It was awesome, but crazy, because we went to the later Gladys Knight devotional, and didn’t get back to the apartment until 12:00. That was weird enough, being out that far past curfew! President Orgill knew, so it was fine :) But we had to get up and leave for the temple the next morning, and we were so tired! But it was awesome. I love being there!
Beautiful flower picture she took.
Her zone at the temple…love seeing her happy and loving her mission!
Oh my goodness, I have fallen so far off the blogging wagon, I don’t know if I can get back on, but I am going to try hard to get back into the swing of things. I have two months of Blythe’s letters to post, plus a gazillion stories from our lives to share, craziness! Goal for the week, get Blythe’s mission posts caught up!
This letter was only the second one we have received so far with sad news and hard times. She didn’t mention it in this letter, but also got really sick this week and spent hours puking on one of the days she wasn’t with her companion and that was super hard as well.
On Saturday I hit 7 months! Oh my HEAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week was crazy and a bit rough. I have only spent 34 hours in my area, including sleeping, meal breaks, and weekly planning. I have only slept in my bed twice in seven days. Sisters’ Shober and Whimmer have had a ton of STL (Sister Training Leader) stuff and have had to meet up every day to plan for meetings we had and to go on exchanges with the other sisters, so I have spent pretty much every day with Sister Whimmer’s companion in their area.
It was a little sad because I missed being able to take Sarah to the temple grounds and didn’t get to teach our new golden investigator we got from the Los Alisos Elders, who already has a baptism date. She is dating the less active son of a bishop in the stake. They were able to have him at a lesson with the family and her – it was great. Sarah is doing awesome. I think she’s in 3 Nephi and loves it! She is learning so much, it’s seriously like teaching a member. She is recognizing the pride cycle for herself and talked about the eternal perspective she’s gained before we could even say it. She is amazing. I’m just glad to be able to be able to see her grow. She has such faith, and she talks about how all the temptations she used to have are just gone. She has no desire for them and they have no hold on her. She has truly given her heart to God.
By the end of the week I was feeling pretty beat. My spirit was just dragging, having not been able to be in my area, and not being able to do much real missionary work. On Saturday I got very low. I was so tired and I didn’t get to go back to my area until late that night. That night I was very discouraged and I sat on the floor of our room for a very long time after the lights were out. I had been really struggling getting up and going, especially since I was so discouraged. I prayed to God, asking Him to remove that exhaustion so that I could do what I needed to do. I didn’t have any crazy spiritual experience, but after I sat there for a long time and prayed, and I got back in bed, I felt the burdens ease, and I felt more able to continue. The next morning I was able to get up just fine, and felt better than I have for a long time.
This week promises to be awesome! We don’t have to go on exchanges, we get to go to the temple, and we’re having Gladys Knight and the Saints Unified Voices coming to the mission! For those who don’t know (’cause I sure didn’t) Gladys Knight, the singer, was baptized into the church several years back, and she has a choir, and they come to missions/stakes that invite them, and it is an incredible missionary tool. They will rock out, and it’s gonna be a little weird, because it’s in the stake center, but from what we hear, it is an incredibly spiritual experience. They carefully track every ticket and everyone who attends will receive a gift bag, with a Book of Mormon and Restoration video. There will be tons of self referrals and on average it will bring 24 new investigators to each companionship. It’s gonna be awesome!
What the cow? How can it be the end of May? How can it be six weeks since I have posted? Life is crazy, that’s how.
My post-cessation started at the same time baseball season began. We have never done organized sports for our kiddos. They just didn’t fit into our family culture of lots of time together, evenings spent snuggled up around a great family read-aloud, freedom to go where we want, when we want. We have never been willing to dedicate that much of our family time to a sport. Until now. I knew in my heart of hearts that Fisher needed to know that his desire to play on a baseball team was heard and important. He needed to know we were willing to make the sacrifices required. He needed to know dreams are worth having and sometimes come true. He needed the experience of having a coach. He needed to work hard and see his progress and be part of a team.
He needed it.
So we did it. (Thirty minutes before tryouts began, we decided to do it.)
And it has completely taken over our lives four nights a week for the last seven weeks.
I honestly don’t know how families function with this kind of schedule. It is impossible to eat together, have stories, conversation, and the magical kind of evenings that feed souls. Hats off to those who have figured it out. After nearly two months of this craziness, the only things I have figured out is how to have a well-stocked food supply with us at all times and the importance of blankets and chairs. I have no idea how to have dinner together, read together, or play games in the evenings with this kind of crazy.
Tonight was his last game of the regular season and his tournament starts on Thursday. It was amazing to see how much he has improved. Over the course of the season, he “graduated” from playing in the outfield half the game and sitting on the bench half the game to playing 3rd base the whole game. He went from striking out the first many times he was at bat to getting good hits consistently. He went from the shy boy on the outskirts to an integral part of the team. He loves his coach. His coach loves him. He gets along well with his teammates and they cheer him on. I am so proud of his courage to jump in and join a league of kids who have been playing for years. I am proud of him for sticking with it. I am proud of him for continuing to give it his best even when it was super hard. What a great kid!
Since I last blogged, we had a fantabulous trip down to Hale Centre Theatre to see Peter and the Starcatchers. I organized the trip for eighty youth and adults and we had a blast experiencing the “big city” and seeing the amazing production.
Love this picture of Kez and Sky
Meeting Elder Rasband at City Creek!
Two days later we celebrated Passover with our annual Seder with my Liberty Girls group, their mamas, and a few other friends.
And two very short days later brought another trip to Salt Lake City to see an orthopedic hand specialist at TOSH where a nifty splint was custom-molded for my hand/wrist.
Then the last day of iFamily, the Math Alive Catapult Contest, Keziah’s Supreme Court Simulation and Oral Exams, and the end-of-year Showcase topped off that last week of April. Just a wee bit crazy when I consider how much we packed into one week.
Next came my birthday. I looooove my birthday. This year the celebration was small and short with just a quick double date with Jessica and our husbands. I just wasn’t up to a putting much energy into it.
A couple of weeks later we started a remodel of our 1970 camper. It started out in my mind as small, but now I can see I was completely delusional that it could have even been small. The goal was to get rid of the useless appliances and replace them with useable storage space. We have put hundreds of hours into and we still have so many hours left…and no time left to do it in. Swim Camp is in just a few short days. The after-midnight hours (Richard can only work on it after work and after baseball, which is often not done until after 9:00 at night) are taking its toll on all of us, especially Richard and Keziah since they are the ones doing most of the work. Tami ripped out the stove, oven, sink, fridge, and ugly cabinetry holding them all. Several of my friends started us off with teaching me how to paint and doing most of the primer coat (thanks Liz, Jada, and Jennifer!). Our friend, Dallin, has also saved the day several times by coming over and putting in 10+ hour days (that kid has painted, laid the fake vinyl tile, soldered off the unneeded gas line, redirected the needed gas line, rewired the lights, patched holes, removed the water lines, repaired a gazillion broken things, and been a creative problem-solver we desperately needed). We are trying to do this on a $300 budget and while it might not look pretty at the end, it will be better than it was.
We also had Homeschool Prom and a big two-day Holistic Health Conference in the middle of the month.
Smart girls wearing Converse instead of heels.
Off-To-Neverland theme full of Peter and Pirates and Lost Boys.
Love these girls so stinkin’ much! They had a big get-ready-for-prom-party at Liz’s and had a blast snacking, laughing, curling, and spraying.
And I got a perm.
So I can do my hair with my one working hand.
Not because it is cute.
Although there are some days it actually turns out cute.
There are also gobs of the other days, the not-cute days.
On Mother’s Day we were able to FaceTime with our missionary! Glorious! She sang to us with her ukulele and filled us right up with the Spirit and heaps of love.
Last week I went to Mexico to get more stem cell treatments. It was a rough trip with 31 injections, food poisoning, oodles of pain and misery, and a long, long drive home. I have spent the last two days in bed recovering and now finally today am back on my feet and starting the arduous process of laundry, packing, and shopping that has to happen before Swim Camp (not to mention finishing the camper remodel!).
Sorry for the long dry spell. I will try to get on top of regular posting soon.
Four weeks ago I did a little baby cartwheel called a monkey jump at gym. It is just a little hop with your feet while your hands are on the ground. A small child didn’t understand what I was asking him to do, so after explaining it multiple times I finally did one. I never thought it would hurt me. And certainly never imagined it would cause the big mess I am in now. All I was thinking about was how this precious child couldn’t understand what I was saying and the only way to help him understand was to show him.
My hand isn’t getting any better. At all. The bones will not stay in place. I am having an MRI on Monday to look for torn ligaments. They are probably not torn as my ligaments don’t normally tear, they normally stretch for a gazillion miles and lay there limp and weak not holding bones where they need to be.
Right now Jeremy has it taped up with about 12 layers of criss-crossing tape.
Then I wear my hand brace on top of all those tape layers. With all the tape and bracing, I can barely move it. Do you see the lasso-type tape around my ring finger? It is to hold that bone up. There are four layers of tape there and it is still sagging. Do you see that?
I am under strict orders to not use my hand for anything. It is nearly impossible, but I am trying. Really trying. I need a How-To guide on how to function without your dominant hand. I cannot figure out how to get contacts in and out. How to brush my teeth. How to wipe. My left hand is not competent at doing any of those things, so even if I go the whole day not using my right hand, I still can’t figure out how to not do those things.
Once the MRI results come back, we will decide how to proceed. Jeremy and I both think I need a hard cast to completely immobilize my hand. Knowing I need it and being happy about the prospect of being in a hard cast for the entire summer are two very different things. I am still holding on to my kayaking dreams for this year, but am coming face to face with the reality that I may not be able to paddle for many months to come.
ARGH. The heartache is nearly more than I can bear. I love being on the water, gliding across the lake or coasting down a river. It is close to the feeling I have cycling and the only outdoor activity my body can handle. So I am not giving it up yet. I am hoping and praying and dreaming of miraculous healing while at the same time trying to open my heart to accepting this new injury and the ramifications it is handing me.
Writing is what I miss most. I feel like part of my brain is gone because I can’t write anything down. I can’t take notes on the books I am reading or write in my bullet journal or attend a lecture and record what I am learning. It is painful to my writing-loving soul. An integral part of my life has been removed and while it may seem like a small thing, it feels huge to me. Writing with pen in hand is a very different experience for me than typing or speaking into an electronic device.
We are slowly figuring out how to function without mom’s right hand and my left hand is getting slightly more competent at household tasks. We will figure this out, I am sure. In the meantime, I will be sporting lots of ponytails and glasses.
Our missionary is teaching people how wonderful it is to know we are loved by God and saved by the atonement of Jesus Christ. Such JOY! I have been teaching about councils for the past several months in our Stake Primary training meetings and I am so happy she has started having a family council with the other sisters in her apartment.
I think this might be an activity with the Young Single Adult Ward she is serving in right now, but I’m not sure! It was posted on her Mission’s Facebook page.
Her zone went on hike for P-Day. It looks like a heavenly way to get some exercise.
Someone in her area had a group of missionaries over for dinner and sent us this picture along with this message, “We sure do love having Sister W. serving in our area. She gave a wonderful message tonight. I appreciate the spirit she brings into our home. And I love her sweet laugh. We laughed so much at dinner and her giggle is contagious. She is a doll.” Oh my goodness, it makes me so happy to hear good things about our girly! We love her so much and it touches my heart that other people are loving her, too!
And now her letter…
Sarah, the really golden referral we got last week, is crazy awesome! SO much more golden than we could have even guessed. We have already taught her twice and she’s been to church and General Conference. We set a baptism date, and she was already having promptings from the spirit to move it up, and fasted about a closer date to be baptized! She falls asleep reading the Book of Mormon, and is nearing the end of Alma! YES, Alma! She has started The Doctrine and Covenants and we’re taking her on a temple tour on Wednesday! She loves the Book of Mormon! She keeps telling us all of these amazing experiences she has had. She can feel the Spirit so strong. She was talking about the eternal perspective it has given her and she is recognizing very clear promptings. She has already experienced the protection of the Holy Ghost. Someone she respects was bashing on religion, and she said before it would have affected her more, but she literally felt this barrier between her and this person, protecting her from the effect of their words. She is experiencing the power of Christ’s atonement so powerfully. Some decisions that have been really hard to make in the past have become so easy as she follows God. She feels His love for her. She has had many of the same questions as Joseph Smith, such as “If Christ taught one gospel, why are there so many Christian churches?” She’s really been looking. Her insights make it seem like we’re talking to a member who has had all this knowledge their whole life. She even talked about how this doesn’t feel like new information. We talked to her about how we lived with God before we came here, that we knew His plan of happiness for his children, and how we as missionaries are just reminding people of it. It is just incredible!
Also, our roommates and the two of us have implemented that talk from general conference on Family Councils. :) We have “Family” Council every Sunday, and we have chore chart, and we do a “Family” Home Evening sometime during the week with the lesson and activity. It’s super fun!
She is teaching and preaching and loving. These are such glorious, heart-filled days for our family as we have a missionary in the field. Every Monday we are checking our email hundreds of time a day waiting for her little bit of news to arrive. Every morning and night, before each meal, and many more times a day she is prayed over. We have a whole group of loved ones serving missions right now and we pray for them and rejoice with them as they learn to be His hands and to lift others with the hope that is in Christ.
Yippee! She finally uploaded pics to her dropbox account!
Inci must have brought them more Turkish Delight. She says it is scrumptious, just like Edmund says in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
This snake looks humongous. I need to know the story behind this picture!
Her old zone with Sister Hollenbeck.
I have no idea who these people are, but if our missionary loves them, I love them.
I think she is sad at the packing she needs to get done.
She must died from packing. She truly hates packing.
Showing us she survived and is still smiling. Gotta love someone who can pack clean suitcases with clean clothes in clean house and survive. Nothing like first-world problems, haha!
Isn’t this a darling statue?
I have no idea what she is sewing or why or whose sewing machine she is using. She is fairly competent at sewing and super competent at figuring things out, so I’m sure she solved the challenge.
With her just-transfered-out-of-their-companionship companion, Sister Christensen.
We had some pretty awesome stuff happen this week! On Thursday Brother Greiner, who is one of the institute instructors for the YSA, called me into his office, and gave us an amazing referral. I guess there was a guy who used to go to institute and he has a friend named Sarah. He gave her a Book of Mormon and she read it. While she was reading in the account of Lehi’s dream, she had a very strong impression from the spirit that she needed to be baptized into this church. She called Brother Greiner and asked him what she should do. He was teaching mission prep that night, and invited her to come. She did and they read Mosiah 18:8-10; “…as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light… and comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places… that ye may have eternal life…. what have ye against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him?” (Brother Greiner is very bold.) He asked her right there if this was the desire of her heart and if she was willing to bear others burdens and take upon her the name of Christ, and she said yes!
We were freaking out! She came and watched General Conference on Saturday! On Suday she wasn’t able to come to the house where we were watching it (with the YSA elders and a bunch of the YSA members), so she watched it on her computer. She said she loved it! We are meeting with her on Wednesday.
We also had wonderful lesson last night with a family. They have a niece who is a convert and is now going on a mission. Their daughter has been to Girls’ Camp with their niece. They said that if they were to be baptized they would want to commit to it fully, and really put forth the effort to gain a testimony, and pretty much be all in, and we were just like YES! That’s how it should be! We taught them the Restoration, and talked about modern prophets, and Thomas S. Monson, which was so cool, since we’d just been watching him speak. When we told them about the First Vision I felt the Spirit so strong. It was like my chest was filled with fire. And it didn’t leave for the rest of the lesson. I knew it was true. Even writing this brings a part of that feeling back into my heart.
I had a blessing from my zone leader several days ago. It was wonderful and one of the longest blessings I’ve had. It was all about how God was pleased with my efforts and that He was proud of me and was with me. At the end of the blessing he said that there were many ministering angels around me, seen and unseen, many of who were my ancestors. Then he said he was especially impressed to tell me that my grandma was with me, watching over me. It was
Love you all,
So my hand is hurt. Not a little hurt, really hurt. It has taken me some time to come to that realization, but this weekend I finally let the truth enter my mind.
At each of my put-my-hand-back-together appointments, Jeremy has told me it is a big, fat mess and is going to take months to heal. I heard his words, but kept thinking it couldn’t be THAT bad and we would just keep putting it back together for a few weeks and then it would be all better.
(I know. I know. I am delusional.)
At times the pain has been intense, at other times, just a throbbing ache. When it is a throbbing ache, I am able to convince myself that this is not a big deal and will be over soon. When it is a shooting pain that brings tears to my eyes, I seriously wonder if I will ever be able to use my hand again. Well, the past few days there has been a lot of the shooting, help-me-not-scream pain and it has got me remembering when my foot had 13 bones dislocated in February 2014. I read all of the posts about that injury and remembered the pain. Remembered the hopelessness. Remembered the sheer courage it took to get through that injury. Remembered how incredibly long it took for those bones to stay in place again.
And then I realized, this hand injury is just like that foot injury. It IS going to take a long time to heal. It might not ever be back to 100%. It is a big deal and I need to face that so I can muster up the courage and skills to give my hand the best shot at healing. It is time for daily BF&C applications, using my Patches essential oil, resting it as much as possible, and clinging to hope.
I really don’t know how to not use my hand. My wrist has been injured since October 30 and I had to start learning how to not use it back then, but this is far worse and I haven’t figured out how to adjust to its new needs. Maybe I need to put it in a sling? Maybe it needs a different type of brace? Maybe I need a new brain, haha!
There are moments when I nearly think amputation would be better than dealing with the pain. Then there are moments I think it isn’t really a big deal at all. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the middle would be the better choice.
Today is the beginning of The Great Bike Challenge. WAHOO! Who can ride the most miles in a week, Keziah or Richard? Kez certainly has more time, but Richard is pretty determined to beat her.
This all started back in September when Keziah’s knee injury from running became excruciating. At that point she decided to quit cross-country, stop running all together, buy a bike, and start riding. She rode until it got too cold outside. Then Richard started his get-his-life-back plan in January and has lost 30 lbs in the past 13 weeks! As the pounds came off, he decided he really wanted to start cycling again.
Sidebar: When we were first married, we sold his car and bought bikes to ride all over Boise, a town made for cyclists. We had a blast. After a few years, due to crazy work hours, I was the only one riding on a regular basis. When Blythe was little, I pulled her in a bike trailer all over the place. In the evenings, I would go for my longer rides. Then after Fisher’s birth and the pelvic damage from the car accident that week, I could no longer sit on an upright bike and started recumbent riding a super-fast high racer. Boy howdy, could that bike fly. I would go out for a 20 mile ride and be back home before they even missed me. I haven’t ridden my bike since the fall of 2010. I can’t bring myself to sell it because I have great hope I will ride it again. I miss cycling more than I can express. It is my place of meditation and revelation…not to mention kick-butt fun.
So now they are in a friendly (and maybe fierce?) competition. Whoever wins gets to choose a treat and the
loser runner-up gets to pay for it. A weekly date, gobs of exercise, and cycling in the sunshine is a win-win for both of them. I am tickled pink that even thought I can’t ride my bike, my love of cycling is being permeating our family culture.
It has been awhile since we have had new chicks at our home. They are a lot of work and we haven’t had enough gumption to put in the work the past few years since Fisher’s chicks were all attacked by a fox the summer of 2013. I think losing those 20+ birds took the oomph right out of us. Last year we adopted a flock of adult hens and have been enjoying the brown eggs and rich yolks, but none of us wanted to take on chicks again.
A friend sent out an email that they had too many chicks at her husband’s business and were giving them away for free. I asked Richard if he wanted chicks and to my great surprise he said “YES!”
Tonight has been a mad dash of getting things set up for the little fluff balls. After years of getting chicks every year, you would think we would be pros at the whole thing, but we are out of practice, and certainly didn’t know where all our chick supplies were. Richard, the ever handy one, saved us all with his chick skills and got their new home with heat, food, and water set up in no time.
Aren’t they adorable?
And the joy a little chick brings? Oh my, it is magical how my children’s eyes have sparkled tonight. Don’t we all need a bit more magic in our lives?