Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Week of Learning New Concepts

This week we have been working with others as usual, but as we reflect over the past days, we have taught a lot of new ideas to members. Some of the things are church related and others are just common sense—things that many of us learned in our youth. These thoughts are part of our being, and we take many of them for granted. But for others, these are new and exciting concepts that will change their way of life.

Some of the ideas are simple—like take your pain medication only as directed or you'll run out of pills before the doctor will give you more. 

When shopping for hamburger (or any product) in the grocery store, check out the price per pound and choose the least expensive. That usually means buy a larger bulk package of meat, not the prepared patties.

When choosing chips, get the larger package because it's cheaper than the individual sized containers.

The young Elders teach the concept of tithing, but then there is the legitimate question of how exactly to pay it. 

1.      Get a tithing envelope and slip from the holder outside the Bishop's office.
2.      Fill out the slip with your name, the date, your ward and the amount.
3.      Tear off the top white paper and put it in the envelope with your money.
4.      Keep the yellow copy for your records.
5.      Seal the envelope and hand it to the Bishop. (He's the one with the red tie, sitting on the stand.)

A Four Generation Sheet? What is that? Good question.
This is an outline to begin keeping family records.
1.      Fill in as much information as you know.
2.      Check your family records.
3.      Use Family Search at to find more information.
4.      Learn how to prepare these family names for the temple.

It's gratifying to help those around us gain this new knowledge and apply it in their lives. It's amazing how many basic ideas we get from growing up in the church and our society that other people have no idea about.

Are we making a difference? Who knows. Maybe with the younger ones, rather than the older ones.

Hopefully some of this information will stick and these Saints will have better lives than they did before. Only time and the help of the Lord will tell.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Week of Hard Work and Fun

This week we had a Zone Conference with the new mission president. President Wakolo is kind and gentle. He sees the big picture as far as the lives of the missionaries are concerned. During a missionary's time in the field, the most important testimony and conversion is that of the missionary. They will be the life blood of the Church. Both President and his wife are gentle, low-key, very knowledgeable and excellent teachers. This will be a time of growth for those serving missions during this era.

We continue to serve and help others. We can see the hand of the Lord in our daily activities. This week the Lord put me at a member's house just when her case worker came.  What a blessing it was. We got a lot of things straightened out because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. I am very humbled when that happens—and very grateful!

We had a game afternoon at the church with our family of kids because it was raining. Some played basketball and some played games. It's like being home with the grandkids for me. I do love it.

The kids love Elder Monson. They don't have many men in their lives.

We continue to do Pioneer Family Home Evenings. This is a very sweet, faithful family. These children will be a blessing to the Church as they grow up.

I have donated several hundred dollars to the local library for genealogy books. Here is a picture of the lady in charge of the monthly genealogy meeting. 

Here are the books she ordered. 

This is the inscription I placed in each book. 

Graciously donated by Christy Monson, Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, binding families together for time and all eternity, June 2014.

At the monthly meeting they were having a Confederacy commemoration so a member of the group brought his family heirlooms. The most precious was a Bible printed in the early 1800's. I didn't get a picture of it, but I would love to have something like that.
My little Kindle lady is very cute. She's in her early 80's and can't remember from time to time how to get around with her LDS Tools. We had to have a saying: "If you don't know what to do, always punch Moroni and start over again." That seemed to do the trick. She's a little less mixed up now that she was. (Maybe) Read more

We sat at her house one afternoon while I helped her with her Kindle and Bob played on his. It was a great time.Read More

Here are some picture of the ward swim party. The Elders Quorum President just built a new pool. The kids had great fun. We are slowly beginning to integrate the ward. Little-by-little both cultures are starting to recognize each other and talk to each other, but not too much—yet.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Enjoying Life in Memphis

Life is great here. We both feel very relaxed now. We know are way around our ward boundaries. (Well, mostly!) We are acquainted with many of the ward members. And we have fallen in love with all that we come in contact with.

Our little premature baby came home from the hospital this week. Here she is with her mother and big sister. 

 Here's her older brother at our Thursday swim party. If the children go to church, read their Book of Mormon a few minutes each day, and spend a little time reading for fun, they get to come swimming at our apartment complex on Thursday afternoon.

A Hello Kitty Birthday party is always lots of fun. This sweet little one is a cute little miniature doll.

When we visit the inactives, some of them accept us and enjoy the visit. Others throw us out of the house. We never know what we'll find.

Elder Monson and I split up today. He went to ward correlation meeting, and I went down town.
I went to meet with a pro bono lawyer to get a ward member's misdemeanors expunged. First I had to find my way to the down town library, which I did great. Then there was a line-up of about 75 people. I asked the lady handing out the applications whether I should see a lawyer or if I should come back. The ward member I was to bring had an emergency and couldn't come. The application lady directed me to the lawyer from the Public Defender's Office and he answered all my questions in fifteen minutes. I didn't even have to wait. Heavenly Father really blessed me. 

So this coming week, it's off to the General Sessions Criminal Court Clerk's Office for more fun. We are really learning a lot. Things we would never have come in contact with if we had stayed home.

The world is so small when you are with church members. Here is a wonderful couple that took us to dinner last night, Larry and Sheila Caulford. Larry is a cousin to a member of the bishop in the Taylor Canyon Ward in Ogden (Mother's ward). We know a lot of the same people. I even know the house his cousin lives in. 

Lots of blessings! Lots of fun!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Visitors, Parties, and a New Mission President

It's been a great week. We do a lot of the same things - tending those who have been in the hospital, helping those out of work find jobs, visiting those who are house bound, and finding independent places for some to live. Our Provident Living Class is going great, and we enjoy doing some missionary home evenings for the families with young children. We went to the temple twice this week - a highlight. We work on Wednesday night and Thursday was ward temple night.

Bob's cousin and family came to visit. Dave and Sue Monson, and their oldest daughter, Melea Mortensen, and some of her children. They were so kind to stop on their way west after a family reunion. It was nice to see some familiar faces. We had a great visit.

The Elders helped this ward member get out her patio furniture. She's all set for her summer parties.

We promised the children of the large family that was baptized - if they came to church and read the Book of Mormon, we would host a swim party. Here are some pictures of the ones that earned the party. It was lots of fun.

The new Little Rock, Arkansas Mission President and his wife are Elder and Sister Wakolo from Fiji. Here is a picture of them at Zone Meeting. 

After Elder Monson visited with the President a few minutes.

President Wakolo taught us about the Atonement.
Before the Fall                        After the Fall                After the Atonement 
God                 +                                  -                                   ++++++
Life                 +                                  -                                    ++++++
Knowledge     -                                   +                                   ++++++
Progress          -                                   +                                   ++++++
Family             -                                   +                                   ++++++
Before the Fall, we could experience the presence of God, and we had life. But we didn't have knowledge; we couldn't progress; and we weren't part of a family.
After the Fall we were not in the presence of God, and we became subject to death. We did have knowledge; we could progress; and we had the ability to have families.
Because of the Gift of the Atonement, we can be in the presence of God; we have eternal life, we can obtain knowledge; we are able progress; and we belong to a family.

I love this concept. What an expansive way to view the Atonement. Words cannot express my gratitude to my Savior for His love and sacrifice.