Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cinnamon Rolls

When the sisters were over for lunch today, they asked us if we had any traditions for conference weekend. We told them about Lisa cooking breakfast for us on Sunday morning before the 10:00 session, but since that wasn't going to happen this year, we might make cinnamon rolls and invite the missionaries over before conference.

Sister Creager said, "Did we ever tell you the story about your cinnamon rolls at Christmas?"  No, they did not.

We had had two breakfasts in our apartment on Christmas Morning.  The first one was for the Sisters. We had them over at 7 AM because they were taking a trip up to Greenville, to visit a Sister up there who was having a hard time and was probably missing her family. After the Sisters ate breakfast, I put a dozen of the cinnamon rolls in a zip-lock bag and told them to take them up to Sister S.

I didn't hear any more about the incident until today.  Sister Creager said that a couple of weeks after Christmas, someone told her that Sister S. had been praying that someone would give her some cinnamon rolls for Christmas.  They had always been a tradition in her family at Christmas Time and she thought if someone gave her cinnamon rolls, it would make everything better.

I've heard of things like that happening before, but it was very humbling to know that I had been an instrument in God's hands to make someone happy last Christmas.  I believe that I was, and it will always be a tender and humbling memory for me.

"Why'd you do it? Why did you become Mormon?"

Church was wonderful today!  The Spirit there was so strong!  I LOVE the Chapin Branch!  Today was Fast Sunday, because of General Conference next week.  So many people came up to bear their testimonies!  The two new converts, Mitchell and Mary were among the first.

Mitchell said that a few days after he was baptized, one of his school friends took him aside and asked, "Why'd you do it?  Why did you become Mormon?"  Mitch said he was taken by surprise, and didn't know exactly what to say.  He told his friend, "Well, there are a lot of reasons."  His friend said, "Just give me one good reason."  Mitchell finally said, "I had a lot of questions and the Mormon Church answered them."  He said, "My friend was satisfied with that answer, but I wasn't."  He spent the next few days trying to sort out exactly why he had decided to be baptized.

He told us that when he was a little boy, it hit him one day that people get old and they die.  He began worrying about his parents dying.  When he talked to them about his fears, they just told him not to worry about it because they were young, and that wouldn't happen for a long, long time.  That was the only answer they had for him.  But it was enough to get him through that time.

Now, he said, with his knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, he knew that life and death are all a part of God's plan for us and he's not worried at all about the future.  He said, "There is no doubt in my mind that I did the right thing."  Mitchell is a great young man!!!

Mary also bore her testimony.  She said that she had been sick and was searching for answers.  She was reading a lot from the bible.  As she read Psalm 25:4, "Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths," she prayed, "Heavenly Father, please show me your ways.  Show me the path that I need to take."  She said that she had the thought come to her, "Joseph will show you the way."  She thought, "Joseph?  Who's Joseph?"

Mary said that she prayed fervently for answers.  She said, "God, if you're really there, you've got to knock at my door."  Within minutes, there were two missionaries at her door.  She said she only opened the door a crack, because she was in her pajamas, but she talked to the Elders through the blind.  She said they were very sympathetic and asked her if they could do anything for her.  She told them she didn't think so, but they gave her a pass-along card through the door.

After the missionaries left, Mary read through the card, and decided that maybe this was something God wanted her to do.  She called the 800 number on the card, and got a message.  Again she prayed to God that if He wanted her to find out about this church, someone would call her back.  Within minutes, the phone rang and it was a Temple Square Sister Missionary.

The Temple Square missionaries taught Mary over the phone for several days/weeks (I don't actually know how long).  I DO remember when the referral came in from Temple Square for Mary and Larry.  I remember being so excited about a referral for the Chapin Branch!  I told Elder Nisson when I saw him at a training meeting, and he said he could remember their names.  So Elder Nisson was one of those first two Chapin missionaries that contacted Mary.  I don't know who his companion was at the time.

When the referral came through, Sister Missionaries were now assigned to teach in half the Chapin Branch, and Larry and Mary lived in the Sisters' area. 
Sisters Walker and Wellman had the opportunity to finish teaching them and help them prepare for baptism.  Mary was ready first.  Larry wasn't quite ready to commit.   But a week after Mary's baptism, her husband was ready to set a date.  I knew he would!

Saturday - Charleston and Mt. Pleasant


Mike and Amy's visit Thursday

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cowpens, SC

I've wondered about the name Cowpens since we came to South Carolina.  Today we got to go there. What a beautiful part of the state!  On the way up, I Googled Cowpens and read aloud the story of the Battle of Cowpens.  It always amazes me the guidance and inspiration given to the Revolutionary troops and their leaders! I KNOW that they were upheld and guided by the hand of the Lord in their endeavor to break from the Crown of England!  And this because they were to be the cradle of the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ.
The National Battlefield

We stopped in Greenville on the way, to pick up a washer and dryer for the new Sisters' apartment.  Elder Holley and Elder Plumb had them hauled down the stairs and out waiting for us at the curb.  They were there to load them into the trailer for us also.  
Elder Plumb and Elder Holley

Next we went to the duplex which was vacated today by Sisters Montoya and Wheelock.  A senior couple, the Winwards will arrive at the end of the week, and this will be their new home.  NICE apartment!!!  Elder Skeen and Elder Winn were there to help load and unload furniture and household goods.

 Elder Skeen and Elder Winn

 Sister Montoya and Sister Wheelock
(Bless their hearts!  They definitely went a few steps down when their left this apartment and moved into a trailer down the road.  Not one word of complaint from the either!)

 Jack helped the Branch President set up the table for the Winward's apartment.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mary's Baptism

I remember putting in my first referral for the Chapin Branch missionaries!  It was for Mary and her husband Larry.  Mary was baptized last night - and I don't think Larry is going to be too far behind her.  The Irmo Sisters are sending me pictures tomorrow of Mitchell's and Mary's baptisms.  I'll post them when I get them.  :o)
One of the cutest women I've met out here!  And she is SO EXCITED to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ!!!

Pics of the Locals

With transfers coming up next week, we've been trying to get pictures of all the missionaries we have to dinner on Sunday and the Chapin missionaries we take to dinner once a month.  We just never know which ones will be transferred out of our area!
Sister Call (Bruce Jones' granddaughter)

 Sister Lester

 Sister Law

Sister Schauerhamer

The week after we had these sisters to dinner, Sister Law was transferred to Charleston.  Sister Borgholthaus came up to be with Sister Schauerhamer.  Two GREAT German names!  Turns out that Sister Borgholthaus's distant grandfather was a German Nazi, who ended up marrying one of his captives.  A book was written about that relative.  I think it's called "Traitor."  And Sister Schauerhamer has read the book! The two get lots of comments from people they visit because of their distinctive German names!

Elder Muir and Elder Hatch

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Hey! Can there be "overs" in a Baptism???

There was a baptism at the Chapin Branch on March 15th. Krista Jacob's friend, Mitchell, was baptized. The Sister missionaries had taught him and were very excited for the event.   It should have been Sister Wellman's first convert baptism. I say "should have been," because just as the Sisters walked into the room, the doors of the font were closing! The baptism was over and done!  

We had had music, prayer and talk on baptism in the Relief Society Room across the hall, then everyone moved into the Cultural Hall to witness the baptism. President Bruno wanted a word with the Sisters before the baptism, so they were the last ones in the door. Alas, they were too late! What a sad, sad look on the two Sisters' faces! It had all happened so quickly, and when those in attendance saw that the Sisters (and President Bruno) had not been there, there was kind of a stunned silence. To break the silence, a man in the back called out, "It was AWESOME!" President Bruno apologized profusely to the Sisters - and they were disappointed, but okay. After all, it was Mitch's baptism that was important. But I'll bet THAT doesn't happen again!

Here's Mitchell, right before his baptism!  He is so happy to have permission and support of his parents as he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  He received the Aaronic Priesthood the week after his baptism.  He will be an amazing light to his friends and his family.  

The Zwick Conference!

More Help with the Mail

Elders Noyes and Call came into the office on Friday to pick up a new vacuum.  Sister Fenton, however, had forgotten to take it out of the van before they took a trip up to Greenville to check out some new housing.  The Fentons were on their way back, so the two Elders hung out at the office to wait.  They wanted to stay busy, so they alphabetized the mail for me.  Wish the blind  behind Elder Call had been closed!
Elders Noyes and Elder Call

My Pearl of Great Price!

Last week I got a FB message from my cousin Bill Otis, who lives in Oregon.  He had found an 1878 copy of The Pearl of Great Price at a garage sale, and wanted to know if I was interested in it.  YES!  He mailed it out to me, and it was in the mail when we got back from Utah.  It's in pretty good shape for being 136 years old!  It is a second edition of the book, the first that was printed in Utah.  I will treasure it for three reasons - #1 It is a sacred book of scripture, #2 It is one of the oldest things I posses, #3 It was from my cousin Bill, who is not Mormon yet, but realized that it was something of value and thought I might like to have it.

The Book

The Title Page

Photo of  the Egyptian inscriptions that were found in a mummy case, procured by the church and translated by Joseph Smith.  These writings are part of what is titled The Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price.

Don't Try This at Home!

Spring is in the air and I was getting a hankering for foil dinners, so I thought I'd try them in the crock pot.  Bad idea!  All day at the office I was thinking how it was NOT going to work!  The crock pot holds the moisture in and foil dinners need a dry heat!  I just knew they were going to be soggy and metallic tasting. When we opened them up, they looked pretty good, but they were NOT!  I made four.  We ate two of them that night (with a lot of ketchup) and Jack ate one the next day.  The last one was burned because it was small and sat on the bottom of the crock.  And it wasn't the good kind of burned - it was nasty!  Yuck!

Think it looks good?  Well, looks can be deceiving!  NOT good, at all!

Searching Through the Mail

Monday after our trip to Utah, there was a ton of mail!  Elders Arrington and Fenton went right for the envelopes - searching for THEIR stuff.
Looking for bills, baptism reports and mileage reports - all the guy stuff.  :o)  I can't remember why Elder Fenton had on his play clothes that day - probably something to do with apartments.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Our First Two Chapin Baptisms...

When we got to church Sunday morning, we were thrilled to hear that Mitchel's parents gave their blessing on his baptism!  He's wanted to be baptized for a few weeks now, and technically, he could have been, but he wanted to wait for his parents' blessing.  They weren't too excited about it at first.  Mitchel is so happy!  He's a wonderful person, and will be an asset to the Chapin Branch and to his family!  He will also have the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his life.  He will be getting baptized next Saturday, March 15th. We will attend!  I can't wait!

We also met Sister Mary R. who will be getting baptized the following Sunday.  I remember putting in the referral for Mary and her husband Larry a couple of months ago.  It was the first referral I entered that was for the Chapin Branch.  We get to attend Mary's baptism too!

SEVEN Baptisms at Fort Jackson!

There were seven baptisms at the Fort Sunday, March 9th!  I asked Sister Fenton if that was a record, but she didn't know.  I guess they were doing interviews and filling out records just as fast as they could.  Elder Fenton turned the baptizing over to Elder Muir, so they wouldn't have to take the time for others to get in and out of the font.  Our church is allowed only so much time for their use of the Anderson Chapel (at Fort Jackson), so they had to hurry things up.  (I'm thinking they are only allowed two hours and then they have to clear out so another denomination can use the chapel.)

I asked Sister Fenton if she had pictures and she said, "Heaven's no!  There was no time for pictures!!!  We were too busy getting the paperwork done!  :o)  I think some of the missionaries got some shots though. Hoping that they'll send me one.

Jack and Vera's Kids...

At the reception Thursday night we were able to get this shot of Jack and me and his two sisters and their spouses.  Mike and Kathleen (middle) entered the MTC today, in preparation for their mission to McAllen Texas!
Jack, me, Kathie and Mike Linsley, Leila and Brent Johnson

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - Matt and Lex's Wedding Day

Wednesday - a Day for Running Errands!

The next day we spent running errands.  I renewed my driver's license and we picked up some things at Beehive Clothing.  We have both put on a few pounds because when we first got to South Carolina, we thought we could eat Southern Food every day and get away with it.  We didn't.  I got a new pair of shoes (just like my old ones) at Sears.  We had our CPAPs checked and the chips read. We went to Moore's in Perry for lunch with Dad.  We got our remaining Hepatitis A and B shots and picked up a few things at the house.  That was pretty much our day.

Canceled Flight!

We were scheduled to leave Columbia on March 4th at 8:30 AM to fly back for Lex's wedding.  About 5:30 the night before, we got a phone call from Delta, saying our flight was canceled!  What???  Within a few minutes, they called again and said that we'd be on an 11:59 flight instead.  That was good, but we didn't know how we could possible make our 1:15 flight out of Atlanta!  Fact was, we couldn't.  We were going to miss the opportunity to go to the temple with Alexis as she received her own endowment.  Bummer!  On the bright side, we'd be able to be at John and Ann's when Nate opened his mission call.

Another good thing that happened because of the changed flight plans is that we made a missionary contact at the Memphis Airport.  A gentleman we sat next to while waiting to board our plane struck up a conversation with Jack.  He ended up giving us his information and asked that missionaries stop by to teach him.  :o)

John picked us up at the airport just after he had stopped by Ann's Uncle Craig Hill's home to get Nate's call.  Her Uncle is over finances of the missions of the church, and had planned to hand deliver the call that night.  Here's the call, in my hand...on the way up to Pleasant View!
Can't wait to see where he's assigned!

Listening In on a Zone Meeting

Every mission has monthly zone meetings.  Jack and I have never been able to attend a zone meeting, because they are held during mission office hours, and we are busy there.  In February, however, the decision was made to have zone meeting in the form of a conference call.  The Fentons were gone, transporting cars or opening up a new apartment, and Sister Barlow was at lunch.  We were both busy, but called in and listened to the meeting as we worked. 

Zone meetings are presided over by the zone leaders.  President Holm may or may not be present.  I'm pretty sure he wasn't involved with ours.  The conference call was conducted as any church meeting.  Because it was a conference call, this one began with a roll call to make sure everyone was dialed in.  Next was an opening hymn (which really is NOT compatible with a conference call ) and an opening prayer.  After that there was an accountability report.  Each companionship told of their goal for the previous month, how they measured up to that goal, and expressed a new goal for the upcoming month.

As I recall, each companionship then shared success stories, a couple of missionaries talked about assigned subjects, the zone leaders complimented and encouraged the zone and then there was another hymn and a closing prayer.  The meeting was so well done.  Sometimes it's difficult to believe that these missionaries INCLUDING their leaders are mosty 18 to 21-year-olds! They take their work very seriously!  And why shouldn't they?  They are on The Lord's errand!  And they KNOW it!  I am so grateful to be a part of them! I learn from them every day!

Like a Lamb to the Slaughter or Like a Sheep to the Shearer

Finally!  After 6 months, I got my hair cut!  I was so nervous, because only Dixie has done my hair for many, many years!  Good thing was, she didn't do anything too drastic.  When I left the salon, I was a little too foofy for my liking, so I combed through my hair and curled it with the curling iron before I went back to the office.
I hate coming home with a "done" look!  Always have!

So, I combed it all out and started over again.  Guess I just like the casual look..
(While checking through my blog a week later, I noticed that you can't really see my hair against our couch.  That is because it's still MOSTLY BROWN!  Maybe brown with silver hightlights?  Hahaha!)