Sunday, 30 October 2016

October 2016 every 3 months

Over the last couple of months our family has received a common inquiry from many in the community as well as visitors to the home. It usually goes something like this..."so do you feel like you finally know what you are doing as a mission president and wife?" 

The answer is an unequivocable NO. 

Nor do I think we shall ever "really get it." Sometimes In our lives we are called to a ministry so dynamic, challenging, rich, rewarding and growing that we have no choice but to become as the scriptures say..."a tabernacle of clay." We are given responsibilities in the ministry to be shaped and molded. Our Savior is helping us change. I believe it's not just the calling we are engaged in right now, it may be any calling. Each calling helps us grow and there is a reason why we never feel truly adequate.  

One of my favorite books written by CS Lewis (Mere Christianity) says the following...

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on... But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of...You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage... but He is building a palace..." 

Our missionaries and our children are trying to follow the Savior Jesus Christ and his admonition to submit our will to the father as Jesus did so that we can become what He wants us to become. 

 ..."And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord." 

Amy and I dropped Mackenzie off at BYU in late August. She was excited and nervous. She has done wonderfully in her start there. She said, "dad, they start many of the classes with prayer." I contrasted her experience with my own first day in an anthropology class at the University of Utah. The professors first words were..."this is not Sunday School." Though I was grateful for my liberal education at the U, I'm grateful for my daughters newfound experience at the Y. I am also grateful for the U sports program. ;)  Mackenzie is providing for herself by working a catering job. She loves her nutrition and English classes most. 

Emma is feeling the "heat" of her junior year of high school. She is taking difficult classes, preparing to take the ACT, working at waffle love, running cross country, singing and dating. She is our busy-body. We love our brief visits with her late at night and watching her become her own person. She is diligent. Her friends love to go to the beautiful Ogden temple for group dates. 

Our church's founder Joseph Smith said around 1840, "teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." I believe that most of what we can teach our children occurs before their 15th year of life...then they govern themselves according to the principles we have or have not taught them. Without question our influence goes into their 16th, 17th and 18th years of life before they leave home, but a majority of their persona, belief system and values are formed before then. 

Joshua scored another goal in his soccer game Thursday. He loves soccer. He misses the competition level in California but we like the Ayso practice and game schedule. :) He is not keen to practice the piano, but does so daily at the behest of his parents. One of my greatest regrets I have was not learning to play the piano. He won't have that regret. He was proud to bring home an excellent report card last week. He enjoys time with mom and dad most and we are happy he likes that. 

Eliza Rose is our kind and gentle soul. On Amy's birthday this past week she "heart attacked" our bedroom door. (Cut outs of hearts and hand-written notes) She is an extraordinary helper in the home. She played soccer this fall for the first time in 5 years. We are so proud of her for trying new things. She wants to try basketball this winter. 

We were privileged to be with several members of the "Seventy" (Numbers 11:16-17)  this past week. We, like our missionaries were richly edified and uplifted by them. I'm amazed that these good brothers who are called to the ministry in their late 40's or early 50's will serve till they are seventy years old. 20+ years of full-time service to God is astounding. We pray for them and are grateful for what they have done for us. 

We have Heavenly parents who live and love us. When we pray to God, our Father in Heaven, we know that we are His children and that all of us...all people on earth are Brothers and Sisters. God sent His Son Jesus Christ "to atone for the sins of the world." He is our Savior and Redeemer. They have called prophets and apostles to lead and guide us. The first prophet they called after a great falling away from the truth was Joseph Smith in 1820. How do I know Joseph Smith was a prophet? By his fruits. He translated a Book of scripture...the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ. When used as a companion to the Bible, we can know "the truth of all things." Prophets and apostles are on the earth today. They lead and guide The Church of Jesus Christ. 

We love you. We miss you our dear friends and family.