It’s been ten days since my last post. Weekly posts are becoming harder than they should be. I may try Wednesday posts for a while as Sundays are often very full.
The most significant events for me recently where revising and rewriting the current handbook for AOA missionaries. Elder Schwitzer asked the sisters to help with the effort and Elder Dunford suggested a rewrite might be the best thing because it’s been years since that was done. It took several hours, but when I feel Heaven’s help on a project it becomes a joy and a pleasure.
Our family has had challenges, but from here, it is easy to see the Lord’s hand cushioning each blow. Just for example: Hyrum, Jordan and Andrea’s little boy, was bitten by a dog on his face. It was traumatizing for us all because he’s such a handsome little guy and he looked pretty rough. However, there were no broken bones, his eyes were not injured, the dog did not wage a full attack, Jordan was right there, and modern medicine is a miracle. Hyrum looks pretty good as of today. The day following the accident, Hyrum refused to eat or drink anything and did not talk. Medical intervention would have been required the next morning and tension was high. As a family—we followed President Nelson’s advice. We asked for a miracle, expected it to happen, and it did! The contrast between the two days in Hyrum’s appetite, energy, and normal activity was truly a miracle.
But Jordan and Andrea were not finished being stretched. Next Jordan’s work vehicle and Andrea’s car both failed on the same day. Getting a work vehicle for Jordan was critical as he is required to travel and haul a lot of equipment with him. What resulted was evidence of God’s ability to see all things from the beginning to the end. Our van was sitting in our garage in Levan. We tried to sell it prior to leaving with no success. When we learned our insurance would be slightly more by taking it off, we decided to leave it on our policy in case someone in the family needed to use it. We also recently re-registered it. The new stickers were on the seat. As reality squeezed in on Jordan and Andrea, Scott and Janna made a quick trip to Levan to pick up the van, while Andrea rode TRAX down to Lehi to pick it up. Jordan and Andrea weren’t the first to use our van since we left, but likely the most desperate. I had to smile when it finally dawned on me why we hadn’t been able to sell our van. It will serve them well until the dust settles.
Our well at home began pumping sand and the filters couldn’t keep up with it. Thus our lawn and yard are looking more than rough. From here we felt helpless to determine what to do. A call from our wonderful “home teacher” and dear friend, Andrew Robinson, was an answer to our prayers. He assessed the situation and had some immediate solutions to keep our lawn alive until we get home. He took the lead in finding parts and putting the plan together and then solicited the help of our renters. It’s not a permanent solution, but it’s workable for now and we feel so grateful.
Our July 24th celebration was nice. Our thoughts definitely turned to home in Levan where we knew the traditions of the holiday would be carried on. We missed the Primary parade, gathering in the park, the dinner and entertainment in the evening and the fireworks from our front porch that look like little puffs of colored light. As missionaries we had a Dutch oven breakfast under the pavilion. It was our first official party at the location. The Osman’s took care of the breakfast burritos and the rest filled in around them. It is always a delight to be together. We’ve come to love the other missionaries. They will forever feel like family to us. That evening we gathered at the Diahman Center and watched “Legacy.” It had been years since we had seen it and it meant so much more because we’ve stood on the ground where much of the story took place. Being here has tied us to this land, its history, the faithful early saints, and to the gospel cause they sacrificed so much for. It caused us to reflect on what legacy we will leave behind and ask if will it be enough to envelope those we love most.
We had the sweetest opportunity on Monday, July 25th. We were asked to roll out the red carpet for the young sister missionaries serving at the historical sites near here, and host their visit to Adam-ondi-Ahman. It was amazing to feel the Spirit guiding what the Lord wanted for these wonderful young women. First I felt impressed to send a letter for them to read as they traveled up here that offered some background and prepare them for what is available here. We were asked to meet them at the East Overlook and then take them to Tower Hill. Of course sharing the verbiage of the new signs was a given, but there is so much more we wanted to share. The idea came to create and “I Spy” game for the travel between the two places. It included a slight detour, but simply pointed out some things they could see along the route. It included a bit of history for each of the 12 “I Spy” locations. The Spirit was generous for the duration of their visit. They had fun, but their hearts were touched and so were ours. The world is in good hands with young people like these sisters.
P.S. They loved the “I Spy” activity so much that I decided to share it with the other missionaries to use with their families. I used that for my talent last minute!
FHE last month was Darrel and my responsibility. We had decided earlier to sponsor a mission talent show. It was canceled due to our COVID outbreak in June, but it happened on July 25th. We’re still talking about how much fun it was. We had hoped to have it at the pavilion, but the weather suggested otherwise. We received nearly 4 inches of right during the 24-hour period it was scheduled. Undaunted, we set up in the shop of the work center. Our pre-FHE activity was a cherry pit spitting contest. Contestants chose three cherries. The pits were then launched toward a garbage can 12 feet away. The scoring provided five points for pits that remained on the protective plastic, ten points for hitting the can, and fifty for making it in the can. Sister Nielson’s victory was a shutout! She scored 110 points with her three cherry pits.
Our program turned out better than I could have imagined. We had amazing projects displayed as well as several impressive talents performed. Six of the Elders performed four numbers on the boom whacker set I ordered from Amazon. Six Sisters shared five songs on little hand bells. Their finale’ was in harmony! We had vocal numbers accompanied by guitar, a legit clogging routine, a melodrama, original poetry recitations, a couple of skits that kept us in stitches, and our director wrote an original riddle about every missionary couple! I found some awesome jokes as well. One sister made the goal to learn every one’s children’s names. She recited them from memory and dazzled us all. Sister Snow is a true geriatric phenomenon!
Here’s three of my favorite jokes.
Q: What do John the Baptist and Winnie the Pooh have in common?
A: Their middle names.
Q: What happened to the dyslexic devil-worshipper?
A: He sold his soul to Santa.
Q: What do you get when you cross an LDS missionary with an atheist?
A: Someone who knocks at your door for no apparent reason.
Of course we face opposition because we’re not as young and sharp as we once were, but never before have we felt more confident in God’s love and His plan for us and our family. We are grateful every day for the blessing that is ours to be here. We appreciate and feel the love, support and prayers of many! Our Love, Elder and Sister K