Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

Yesterday was a challenging day.  It was Jim and my last day serving as Temple workers.  It was even harder for him because he has served longer.  It is so true that you love those you serve and he was responsible for the men on our shift for a season.  He grew close to the Temple administration and to the Temple President.

For me, it was the loss of being in the Temple each week and the fabulous people who work there.  Before I began serving there, I did not understand how people could give up large amounts of time each week to work in the Temple.  I understand now and I will miss it.
Thank you, sisters and brethren who serve.  Thank you to those who attend the Temple as patrons.  Thank you to those who made me feel needed by making mistakes or asking questions.  
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for letting me serve for a season, though it was short.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 26, 2014

     Memorial Day is an interesting day.  I have so much respect for the families who go together to honor their ancestors.  Jim and I were able to take floral arrangements to his father's grave and my parents'.  Doing so always reminds us of them and moments in our lives together.

     There is a silly tradition in my family.  Years ago, my mother starting putting plastic pink flamingos in our yard.  I hated them and was embarrassed, so I would hide them.  She would find them and drag them back out.  When my parents moved, I informed Mom that she should not take the pink flamingos.  When I came back from school for a visit, she had duck decoys decorating the lawn as a joke.

 From then on, the flamingo became a family joke.  They have appeared on my cake for my engagement, my doorstep, and in all sizes and styles.  Once, a six foot stuffed one appeared on her porch.  Of course I was blamed, but it was someone else in the family.  So, when Mom died, I put a pink flamingo on her grave.  Since it is a grave without raised headstones, I fully expected that it would not stay.  But it has.  For months, whoever cares for that area of the cemetery has carefully returned the flamingo to her side.  Then when we did the Temple work for Mom and Dad, I put another flamingo on his side so that the two beaks and necks formed a heart.  
  That flamingo was gone when we went on Memorial Day, but the original flamingo is still there.  It is always a little sweet memory when I see it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

May 3, 2014

     We are trying to enjoy every minute of our time with family before we leave on our mission.  "Noodle" has begun playing soccer so we are supporting him in his bunch ball.  They don't have goalies at this level of play, but that did not slow him down!

We also went to a baby animal event with P1.

     We are very blessed to have two of our grandsons close.

    We miss our little Canadian, but he lives 24 hours away in Canada.

May 25, 2014

     By now you may have figured out that the previous entries were all entered over the past two days.  Our daughter had to help me work out the kinks to get my blog going.

     We feel like we are on hyperspeed.  There is much left for us to do before we are able to begin our mission.  We are packing up the things in our home because our son and his family will live here.  If they buy a home while we are gone, we need to have our home ready to sell.  We are finding lots of things that we thought were lost, and discovering that we may have gotten rid of things we should not have!  Right now, the house looks like a tornado hit.

     With a Member/Leader Support missionary assignment, we are required to have our own car and may do quite a bit of driving on the mission.  We decided our beloved Tundra would have to go.  It was hard to let it go, but we needed something more gas efficient.  So, we bought a Toyota Camry Hybrid.  Goodbye, truck, hello gas mileage!

     We made a trip up to the cabin to take a load of things, but forgot to take the load!  Too much on our minds.


Only two weeks left before check in at the MTC. . . .

May 11, 2014

     Once we received the call, our lives became CRAZY!  We were assigned to report to the Missionary Training Center on June 9, 2014.  We thought we were ready, but there is a great deal to do once you know where you are going.

     We knew that the time would even be short for the Mission President to know we were coming, so we called him.  What a wonderful man!  He was surprised to hear that we were coming and indicated he had not requested a Senior couple.  That just reinforced our testimony that we were going when and where the Lord needed us.

     Our children organized a sweet Mother's Day dinner.  It made me reflect about family.  There will be many changes in the 23 months until we return home.  The first will be the addition of another grandchild.  We hate to miss such an choice event, but we will be able to stay in touch and see pictures.

April 30, 2014

     Because we began to feel secure about the length of time we would have before a mission, we took on a big project:  painting our garage.  Our home is about 40 years old and it had never been painted.  The tape from the mudding had begun to peel off.  So, we began another project, and it was a big one.

     We went to the Temple on our assignment as Temple Workers.  For the first time, I had a feeling of anxiousness about our call.  I hadn't felt that before.  When we returned home, the envelope with our mission call was in the mailbox.  We called all of the kids to be part of the opening.  Our youngest daughter was at work and did not get off until 8:00 p.m.  Our other daughter was at college. Our oldest son was in Canada.  Our younger son was out of town at a conference.  So we gathered those of the kids who were here, my mother-in-law and two of our terrific grandsons.  We tried to reach our Canadian family, but did not connect.  We took guesses about where we would be called. Two  thought we would be serving in Salt Lake, my mother-in-law thought Palmyra or Phoenix, Jim thought Reno/Winnemucca, my son-in-law thought Ireland, one daughter thought North America, my youngest thought Brazil and I thought New Zealand.

     When we opened our call, we had been called to the Georgia Atlanta North mission as Member/Leader Support missionaries to serve for 23 months.  We felt privileged to have that opportunity.

     After we opened the call, we celebrated with ice cream!
February  12, 2014

     We became comfortable in our process of preparation for a mission.  Jim is acquainted with one of the members of the medical team that deals with the paperwork, and he had not even seen the papers for two or three weeks after we submitted them.  Friends told us that because the April General Conference took place in the middle of our application process, that would take longer.

     One of the changes that had taken place since my retirement was that I became a worker in the Temple.  I had not been able to attend the Temple regularly while working, but making a commitment to be a worker when we were sending in mission papers seemed a little crazy to me.  Still, Jim had been a worker for a couple of years, and had waited patiently until I could join him.  I was set apart on February 7, 2014 and began my training on February 12, 2014.

     In the Temple, things need to be done with exactness.  The Lord doesn't want the Temple Workers to put their own spin on things.  As a result, there is a lot of memorization.  That was EXTREMELY intimidating to me.  I have never been good at memorization.  I struggled a lot, but had wonderful Sisters who patiently helped me.  Even the patrons were patient and kind.

     It didn't take long until I found that my service in the Temple was the one day I felt peace.  It is a beautiful place and the people there are special.  I didn't feel that my time was better spent in anything else I could do.  I could feel like I was home.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

March 23, 2014

     We have worked like crazy to get the house in order so that we can file our papers for a mission.  We almost have the third bathroom remodeled.  Jim does great work and they look very nice.

     We felt comfortable enough to submit the papers.  Many people had counseled us to request a specific location or assignment.  Jim and I did not want to do that.  We believe that the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves, and he definitely knows where our abilities can best be utilized.  We did not request a specific place, assignment or length of service.

     Tonight we met with our Stake President.  He indicated that because we had not made a specific request it had been his experience that it would take longer for the call to arrive.  He said it usually takes about 5-6 weeks for senior couple missionaries to receive their calls, and when a couple did not make a request, it was usually a couple of weeks longer.

     We have heard enough people indicating that calls are taking a while and that after the call arrives the senior couple is not going for several weeks to several months.

     In the meantime, we will continue to work on projects.  Just maybe we will finally finish the cabin this year.
January and February, 2014

     I thought that retirement was supposed to be relaxing!  Jim and I began the process in January to be able to go on a mission.  We had to complete a huge application and for a while we were in doctors' and dentists' offices to complete the required exams almost weekly.  We met with an attorney and set our affairs in order.

     I worked hard to gather some family names together so that we would be able to go to the Temple to be sealed to my parents for eternity.  I was very close to my parents and had to wait a year after Mom passed away to be able to complete the Temple work.  It was a privilege to go to the Temple and feel the power of the sealing ordinances for our family.  I believe we will be together for eternity.  My nieces were able to sense her presence as we completed the work.  I love my family very much and cannot imagine eternity without them!
January 1, 2014

     On December 31, 2014, I retired l after working as an attorney for over 30 years.  I had looked forward to that day for many years.  It was not because I disliked my job, I was working as a Child Protection Attorney and the work was fulfilling.  It was not because I disliked my co-workers, they are some of the finest people I know.  It was because I knew in my heart that there was something more for me to do.  I wanted to find out what that might be.

     I knew what one part of the journey would be.  Jim and I have wanted to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for our entire marriage.  We are lucky enough to be healthy enough to go.  I feel blessed that the decisions that we made long ago have worked out so that I was able to retire and we could afford to go on a mission.  He wanted to go immediately after I retired.  I told him that I wanted to "breathe".  I could not have anticipated what the next few months would be like.