Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Week's Worth of Life...

This was a typical week. As I reviewed, I didn't find tons that was really interesting.

Wednesday, April 11th, I had a morning at home. Then I went to the nursing home to play a DVD for the residents with Papa and visit with him. Dinner at Arby's. Then taught Institute. This time Darin Griffith visited our class. He is the Church Education System person over us. We had a nice class that evening.

Thursday, April 12th, Claude led our monthly Self-Reliance Committee meeting. Good attendance. Claude let us in a nice activity. He gave each of us a sheet of paper and asked us to take a few quiet minutes to ponder what we felt we needed to do the support the Stake better. After a few minutes, we shared ideas and the group discussed one item each of us wrote. Great ideas. Good exercise.

Friday, April 13th, I took Papa out of the nursing home for the afternoon to go on a car ride. We drove to LaGrange using the back roads. We picked up Hayden and took him with us to Dairy Queen for ice cream. Papa had his usual chocolate shake. I had my usual Mango Pineapple Smoothie. Hayden enjoyed a Blizzard. Then we took Hayden home. As we were leaving Dairy Queen, Hayden looked up at me and said, "I had a really good time." Such a little thing. He walked on one side of Papa and I on the other to go in and out so Papa kept his balance. Just that little act of an outing and helping his great Grampa made for a good moment in his life. I like that.

Friday evening we called and talked with Jake, our son. His birthday is tomorrow and he is not sure where he will be on his birthday evening. So we had a nice conversation when we were all available. He made a trip to Kirtland, Ohio for a Sunstone Conference. He shared all about it. Fun to hear of his adventures. Makes we want to revisit Kirtland.

Saturday was Inservice for Institute and Seminary teachers. I gave the devotional thought. Good meeting. Then I drove to Georgetown and visited Papa for a few hours before going back to Sadieville.

Sunday, April 16th, while visiting Papa I tried to fix his headphones. I finally just had to tell him I couldn't figure it out and they needed to go back to Best Buy to see what we could do. 

Sunday evening Claude and I had tickets to see Les Miz in Louisville. Great performance. We tried to remember when we last saw this musical. We both think it was when we lived in Maryland and we saw it at the National Theater. The staging was different and it was really good. 
Monday, April 16th, I had to address Papa's headphone issue. He really relies on having the TV on and dozing through most of it. But he really can't listen to it at top volume. I disconnected the newest headset from the television and also took the old one and headed off to Best Buy in Lexington. I was sent directly to the Geek Squad counter. Prompt service. He determined the headset is not getting a full charge. Off to Batteries Plus to purchase another battery. Then a quick stop at Krispy Kreme down the street to take a treat to Claude. Back to the nursing home and plugged everything in again. Tried to help Papa understand the need to get the headset on the charger precisely or he would always have this problem. This may take a bit more training but we'll get there.

We are still having winter weather. When I opened the garage door to get the mail before going to Georgetown, I saw an amazing sleet/snow storm coming down. I took a few pictures as it started to build up. It was fast moving and didn't really accumulate a lot. But I would be through several of these storms during my travels Monday afternoon.
And that is a normal week. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tender Times...

I teach an Institute class every Wednesday evening. This class if for young adults aged 18-30. This semester our class is The Eternal Family. We cover two lessons each week for fourteen weeks. Then we have a review and testimony class. Then we begin the next semester. This semester the class has been tiny. Some of the young adults left for their missions. Some have gone away to college. So we have usually three at most. 

Twice this semester I have had Nikki to myself. Nikki has learning disabilities and it was good to have two classes that were one-on-one with her. She reads at a third grade level and struggles to even do that. For these two classes I took my outline and just pulled out scriptures and quotes and we read them together and then discussed them. She would actually answer questions. I'm still not sure how much she actually got of it or even what she will be able to retain. But having her alone for two weeks was good for Nikki and for me.

Last week I only had Valerie in the class. We tossed the carefully laid out lesson plan and just had a good conversation. It was lovely to have this time to share her feelings and preparations for her life. I shared some of my experiences during our marriage and raising our kids. It was just good to do that together. It felt like a really good friend sharing with another really good friend instead of a teacher/student relationship. Such a blessing for that night for each of us.

Saturday I received a phone call from our Bishop. I was at TOFW and had turned the sound off on my phone so I didn't get his voice message until I got to my car to go home. Bishop was wondering about the priests coming Sunday to give Papa the sacrament. I assured him that would be wonderful. The weather was to be very cold in the morning and I just don't take Papa out if there is any weather issue. So having the priests come would be amazing.

I was at the nursing home visiting Papa. I usually go to sacrament meeting and then leave right after and go sit with Papa a couple of hours before going back to the church to pick up Claude. I had given Papa the ear buds to my old Kindle and he was listening to General Conference talks I downloaded for him. Papa has a hard time reading with one eye nearly blind and the other getting that way. So having the talks so he can see the video and hear right in his deaf ears is a huge blessing of modern technology. Papa has even figured out when one talk is finished he can tap on an icon and another one will begin. This is progress for a nearly 90 year old people. So Papa was listening to conference and I was reading a book in preparation for Claude and my May vacation. I heard footsteps that were definitely not CNA's footsteps. I pulled back the curtain and there were the Bishop, Bro. Dyer, Will Watson, Aram Kumar and Wesley Holt. 

Bishop suggested we begin with a hymn. Bro. Dyer suggested we sing the one we sang for sacrament meeting. We all turned to "There is a Green Hill Far Away" on our devices and sang. The guys all sang melody and I sang alto. It was beautiful. There were no residents yelling "help me" down the hall. Rocky wasn't yelling, "Will someone get me a sandwich?" and all the normal noises you hear constantly. Reverence prevailed and it all began with this beautiful hymn. 

Then the boys blessed the bread and passed it to Papa. I was a bit concerned as he raised it right arm and it didn't work quite right. He had to use his left hand to get his right hand up and working. Then the boys blessed and passed the water to Papa. All was reverent throughout this. 

Then Papa shared his memories of being one of only a few boys in the Church when he grew up in Winnfield, Louisiana. He gave a very confused account of Heber J. Grant. His memory should have been that  Elder Heber J. Grant came to organize a stake when he lived in Texas. He would have been only about 4 years old at that time. Then after that he was called to be the Prophet and President of the Church. Papa's memory now tells him he was there when Pres. Heber J. Grant was called to be a Prophet. I am sure having heard the conference talk regarding the sustaining of Pres. Russell M. Nelson as the new Prophet and President of the Church helped him meld all his former memories together. But, Papa shared and that was good. The boys listened with interest and that was good for Papa. 

Then they left. Papa was so very happy they came. He was grateful to take the sacrament and to have listened to General Conference talks. He is at a very difficult time in his life and these tender times we both appreciate as huge blessings. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

TOFW Cincinnati...

Every other year Time Out for Women comes to Cincinnati. Actually, they come to the Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky right across the river from Cincinnati. But labeling it Cincinnati is close enough for others to decide if they can get to that location.

Every other year when I get an eMail with the dates for the coming year's Time Out for Women (TOFW), I forward it to my hubby with a request that it be my Christmas gift. He always is happy to oblige. It is just such a cup filling kind of thing for me. 

Friday morning I visited Papa and took him for a brief car ride. Then I headed home with a sandwich from Jimmy John's for our dinner. Then off to TOFW I sped.

The event begins at 6:30am. They stay right with their scheduled times. The theme this year was "Centered in Christ" with the scripture being John 15:15 "I am the vine, ye are the branches". 

The program began with Jenny Oaks Baker playing her violin. She brought her 14 year old (would turn 15 on Monday) daughter, Hannah, to accompany her on the piano. I have seen Jenny at one other TOFW. She is just superb. Hannah was amazing at the piano. Jenny is the daughter of Pres. Dallin H. Oaks, newly sustained 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency of the Church. She looks a little like her dad.

The first speaker was Elaine Dalton. She was General President of the Young Women at one point. She introduced the color white to their values to represent Virtue. Some people call her the Virtue Lady because of this. She told about running with friends and they were all calling out blessings. She called out how thankful she was for a healthy body. Then...her foot hit a pebble and down she went. She realized her leg was in a very unnatural position. She had a very bad break. She was taken to the hospital, surgery was done and she went through the healing process. She talked of how that experience helped her to better understand the comfort the Holy Ghost can provide and the power of the Atonement to heal us and help us move forward. 

Following her statement that we must do the spiritual work required to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, she gave a little formula she and her husband are using. She was explaining to us that we should start simply and using this method will help with that. They have given it the name PROSS and each letter is to indicate a simple thing/things you can do to accomplish this spiritual work so you can receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost. 

  • P  = Prayer and Purity (Purity is our power)
  • R = Read and Repent (Read your scriptures daily)
  • O = Obedience (This always brings blessings)
  • S = Sacrament and Service
  • S = Smile
Pres. Russell M. Nelson was her priesthood advisor when she was General Young Women president. Referring to our epic General Conference, Elaine said she can alert each of us to strap on our roller skates and prepare to move forward in a dramatic fashion. 

Referring the words spoken at General Conference by the 1st Presidency and the Apostles, she told us she has certain words that, when she hears them, her ears perk up and she listens very carefully to what follows them. Some of these words are: Hasten, I plead with you, Redemption and Zion. What a tender feeling that gave to me. I remember when my mother had Alzheimer's and I struggled to find the things I was to learn from that experience, I too made a list of words that came to mean so much to me through that experience. Words like: Peace, Submit, Endure, Hope, etc. How I could see the wisdom in Elaine's council to listen for and then pay attention, followed by heeding these kinds of words when spoken by our Priesthood leaders.

After Elaine, Jenny Oaks Baker and her daughter, Hannah, provided more music for us. Two comments Jenny made during this set of music were: 1) Pray to see the miracles and 2) Calendar your commitments (or promptings from the Holy Ghost).

The final speaker for Friday was Tom Christofferson. I was anxious to hear this particular talk. Tom's brother is Elder D. Todd Christofferson, one of the 12 Apostles. There are five boys in that family. Tom served a full-time mission. When he returned from his mission, he was sure he would have the answer to his prayer that his gay attraction would be taken away. He did his part so the Lord surely would answer that prayer. Tom loved the Gospel and wanted to be a member of the Church but he found upon his return from his mission that he still was a gay man. He eventually determined he should leave the Church and he and his partner set up housekeeping. They lived a monogamous relationship for I believe he said 10 or 12 years. Finally, he decided he wanted to go back to Church. He would sneak it after Sacrament meeting started, sit in the very back and sneak out before anyone could corner him. After a while he knew he wanted to not do his attendance in that manner. He set up an appointment and went to visit the Bishop of the Ward. He assured the Bishop he was gay and was happy with his partner but he did want to come to Church. The Bishop told him he was more than welcome to come and to bring his partner. Tom attended and every now and then his partner would come. Tom always felt welcomed by the members of the Ward. Eventually, Tom was sure he was ready to be rebaptized. The Bishop asked to speak with him and his partner. The Bishop explained to Tom's partner what was required for Tom to be baptized again and asked how he felt about that. Tom's partner was not really ready for that. So, the Bishop said they would not rebaptize Tom until he and his partner felt it was right. Eventually Tom and his partner separated and Tom was rebaptized. Tom is very active in Church, teaching the Gospel Doctrine class in his Ward. His partner found another man to live with and they are very happy. Tom said he told his partner he was happy that he found what was right for him. His partner felt the same for Tom and they parted with respect and love and friendship for each other. However, I was very moved when Tom said he has some very lonely nights. It can't be an easy path for him to be on but he knows it is the right path for him. He freely admits this may not be the path for others but it is the path for him. 

The other thing that was very important about Tom's story was his family. He had great parents and four brothers that he loves very much. And Tom says that is the key. His parents decided that they should be sure the bedrock of their family values was to have each member of the family have charity (the pure love of Christ) for all other members in their family, no matter their choices. And that is how these five brothers were raised by their mother and father. How powerful is that!! 

How did/does Tom Christofferson deal with all this. Three simple rules: 1) It is more important to Jesus Christ than to know why these things happen. 2) All answers are not ours now. (This is like my understanding that in this life we walk by 'faith'. That means we don't know everything. We are not meant to know and understand everything. We act on the truth we know, we have faith and hope for the truth we are trying to learn and understand. That is how life is to be lived.) 3) Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love and peace are ours.

Tom learned through his mother's fight with cancer that you only have to do one more day. That is how she approached the pain and agony she went through. 

This was a great talk by a great man. Grateful he was one of the speakers.

That ended Friday's portion of the weekend at about 9:30pm. Time to hurry back to Sadieville. The weather forecast was for cold and snow. Sure enough, as I went to my car, little pellets were falling down. I made it home fine and prepared my things to leave early Saturday morning as the roads were to be bad and I wanted plenty of time to drive them.

Saturday morning I was out the door by 7am. Roads were a bit snowy and there were icy spots. The ice is the bad thing here in Kentucky. Often it is that black ice and you just don't see it until you are spinning around. A fervent prayer before leaving and a constant prayer while driving that hour plus drive kept me safe from all danger. When I got close to the exit off I-75 two tractor trailers had collided. There are multiple layers of traffic at that point and the ones overhead were all full of lines of stalled traffic. I got in the right lane because my exit would be in a few miles. It moved okay. Then the warning sign came up over the highway saying I-75 and 5th Avenue had black ice. That was my exit. Made it just fine and the city streets were clear. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer when I have to drive somewhere. 

I arrived early enough to visit the Sweet Salt Clothing booth. I purchased a dress from them two years previous that I loved. I found three dresses and purchased them. I walked quickly through the Deseret Book area and found three books but time was running close for the program to begin so I opted to wait to purchase them till lunch. 

The introduction to this day began with some great thoughts:

  • Books ignite dreams.
  • Jesus is the Plan.
  • Have joy in your circumstances.
  • We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. ~~ Russell M. Nelson.
The first speaker was Mary Ellen Edmunds. I just love this good Lady. I first heard her when we first moved here. There was a Relief Society event held for the Lexington and Louisville Stakes. It was sponsored by the Lexington Stake and held at the Alumni building. My mother had Alzheimer's but I could still take her to things and she enjoyed being out and about. So she went with me. One of the speakers was Mary Ellen Edmunds. I came to appreciate her delightful humor and her tender spirit. I purchased a book that she wrote and totally enjoyed that. Fast forward many years, Claude and I book a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands for our big trip one year. Mary Ellen Edmunds was a guest host on that cruise. The treat was that three of the nights, after dinner, we would all go to a room and listen to her give a talk. My favorite was the little sister from the Philippines that was the Relief Society president. These people had precious little and yet she knew they must help each other. Each Sunday the sisters would bring a handful of rice to contribute. This little Relief Society president would collect the rice. Then she would pray on Monday for inspiration as to who needed help. When she received her answer, she would take that little bundle of rice and walk to the person's home she was prompted would be in need of that precious gift. Mind you there were no phones or vehicles to drive in. Just humble sisters, giving of the little they had to help other sisters. What a powerful story. 

Back to Mary Ellen...she got very, very sick on this trip. She had a dear friend traveling with her, Lee Ann. This friend cared for her and then those three night Mary Ellen was able to come out and talk with us. Who should be at TOFW but Lee Ann and her husband to support Mary Ellen. I made it a point before the event began on Friday evening to go to Mary Ellen and thank her again for her wonderful talks during our cruise. She reached in her pocket and gave me a little card. On one side was printed "Never underestimate the power of your personal influence!" and "Your love and example can make a happifying difference in the lives of others. Follow the Savior, the one who has had the most profound influence of all." The other side of this beautiful little card said, "With much love from MEE. Mary Ellen Edmunds." I have it taped to my printer so I can remember these words of wisdom every day.

Her great humor showed as she walked onto the stage and put her foot up on a stool and said, "I got new shoes!" They were red and black. Then she said, "They go with my stripped socks!" Then she raised her pants legs and she had on stripped knee socks that were in many, many colors. We all warmed to her immediately.
Mary Ellen (MEE) would speak about 'influence'. Her talk was titled "Making a Difference with Heaven's Help". She said she subscribes to the 'wait-a-while club'. She thinks one should wait a week to compliment. Then they know you sincerely appreciated what they said or did. 

She quoted Mother Teresa, "What we do is a drop in the ocean. But, if it was not there it would be missed."

Do the best you can do and He will fill in.

Mary Ellen Edmunds has never married. She is a nurse by profession. She served on the General Relief Society Board for 11 years. She has served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in  Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Indonesia. She has traveled to Africa to help there as well. Every time she speaks she shares tender experiences while serving these missions.

Music for Saturday was performed by Calee Reed. Calee was married the first time at 30 years of age. Her mother taught her to sing. Her first album was written as she went through the pain of a divorce and the struggles of being a single mother. In 2017 she remarried and is now very pregnant while raising 5 children in their blended family. She is very happy, even with all that excitement.

Image result for kintsugiCalee told us that people that follow her have shared their mutual love of Kintsugi. This is a Japanese artform. It takes broken pottery that is mended with a special lacquer and dusted with gold and silver or platinum. Kintsugi teaches a belief in the beauty of imperfections. The broken pottery becomes even more refined thanks to its scars. 

In addition to her beautiful music, Calee shared with us a beautiful quote by Mandy Hale, "Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible."

Some other thoughts Calee shared were:

  • God doesn't intend to break us with challenges.
  • When the water is deep it isn't meant to drown you. It is meant to cleanse you.
  • If you are a little bit better than yesterday, that is enough. ~~ Elder David A. Bednar
  • Rise to the stature of the divine within you. ~~ Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Choose progress over perfection.
We saw a trailer for a new movie titled "Trek" about the handcart trek that the young people make every four years in our stake. It is an amazing thing to do. Lots of powerful lessons are learned by dressing in pioneer clothing, getting rid of all things that have to do with teens in this day and age (cell phones, etc) and pulling and pushing a handcart for 3 days with little food and sleeping on the ground. Now they have made a movie about it.

The second speaker for Saturday was Alissa Parker. Her talk was titled "Sometimes Believing is Enough". Alissa is the mother of Emily, a precious six year old that was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting. Alissa shared her journey and it was exceptionally moving. Alissa has two other daughters. 

Alissa shared how special a daughter Emily was. Then she carried us to the day of the shooting and how they proceeded after it. Elder Gene Cook was there to speak at Emily's funeral. In his talk he specifically told Alissa to not dwell on the life Emily would have had. 

Alissa also shared how she came to deal with the young man that did this killing. She eventually came to understand that God loved the young man but was disappointed in the choices he made. 

Such a trial to endure. 

Calee Reed sang again. This time she told us about something she read or watched about cows and buffalo in a storm. The cows would run to keep ahead of the storm. This meant they were often running with the storm and they would have a long and hard run. The buffalo, on the other hand, would turn, face the storm and run into it. Their run was shorter by doing this. The moral...We don't get to choose the storm but we do choose the way we deal with it.

There was a table discussion regarding paying attention to promptings from the Holy Ghost and keeping our lives centered in Jesus Christ.

The third speaker was Jenny Reeder. Jenny is a women's history specialist at the LDS Church History Department. She has had leukemia since 2010. It has gone into remission and returned three times more. She is barren because of all the treatments and if she has another recurrence the possibility of remission is nil. She draws strength from two scriptures. The first is in 2 Peter in the New Testament and the phrase that gives her hope is "The Lord is not slack". The second is in Alma in the Book of Mormon and the words are, "He will verify His word in every particular." The title of her talk was "Finding Miracles even in our Waste Places".

Jenny shared the stories of several women in Church History: Mary Whitmer, Mary Fielding Smith, Amanda Barnes Smith, Zina Young and Rachel from the Old Testament. Each of these women had to go through 'waste places' and they each experienced miracles in their lives. Jenny fits well with the women. She shared a strong testimony of the miracles in her life as she has gone through all these rounds of leukemia. She told how the commandment was given to Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth and fulfill the measure of their creation. Jenny says this means more that just bearing children. Think about that. I found that profound. At the end she shared the words from scripture regarding Rachel, "And God remember Rachel." God will remember us also.

Calee Reed provided more music.

Emily Belle Freeman was the final speaker with the topic "Finding His Grace Where You Are".  

In speaking of grace, Emily said these thoughts:

  • The Lord will meet you where you are. But he doesn't intend to leave you there. 
  • The Lord's strength is made perfect in weakness.
  • Charity is the outward expression of our inward understanding of grace.

Calee Reed sang a closing number and it was over.

I left with a full heart and ready to deal with life and grow from the experiences I am given to learn from. Everyone of these presenters had a huge trial in their lives. Every single one of them. What does that confirm for me. We all have trials. We all have to do hard things. My hard thing right now is the continued care of my father. I often think that it is so small a thing compared to other people and the trials with which they live. Then I have learned to say to myself, "But this is my trial. And it what I am to learn from. So don't compare my trial to someone else. Just understand and have empathy with them and continue to try and learn and grow from my trial." Each of these presenters had a huge trial. It was their trial. But letting me know about it and understand what they have learned and how they dealt with it can help me deal with my trials. Now, don't think for a minute that I am not grateful for the opportunity to help care for my father. I love him and will do my best for him. But it is difficult in many ways and that is why I am grateful for a wonderful 'cup filling' General Conference followed by a wonderful 'cup filling' Time Out for Women. I am richly blessed.
Joyce Russell-Koch, Erica Snow, Karen Cooper, Sandi Christensen, Dawn Buttars. 
Sandi Christensen and Karen Cooper.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

A Mini Spring Break...

Tradition!! Tradition!!

It was the Mini's Spring Break from school. Traditions dictates that they have a sleepover with Claude and me.  Monday morning, April 2nd, I was out of the house at 8am to go to LaGrange to pick up some grandmonsters for a visit. I made one stop at Walmart to buy silk flowers for my Mother's grave.

Scooped them up with their luggage, found the correct seating pattern in my car and we were off to Shelbyville where we stopped to buy gasoline. Then on to Frankfort to Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery to be sure Mimi had some nice spring flowers on her grave.
Next we went to Kroger in Georgetown. We wanted to get a flower for Papa to add some spring to his room at the nursing home. Hayden picked out a gorgeous orange flower. We also purchased a candy for the Mini's and some Double-stuffed Oreo's for a treat when we got home. Then we visited Papa and gave him his flower.
We drove through Wendy's and purchased lunch for everyone and then found Claude at home in Sadieville. He had created and taped this sign to the door for the Mini's arrival while I was gone. Silly Pa!
We had a little down time before our outing for the afternoon. We were going into Lexington to see Black Panther. This is a movie Hayden loves and has already seen twice. Bailey had decided she wanted to see it. So, off to the Regal Cinema we went to sit in the squeeky leather lounge chairs and enjoy a movie together. This was followed by dinner at Blaze Pizza.
Back to Sadieville we went and settled in for the rest of Monday and most of Tuesday. 

Tuesday morning Bailey made her way to the sewing room. I was getting a birthday package ready to mail to Todd, our son-in-law. Bailey plundered. Here is what she came up with. 
The Mini's choice was to binge watch a television show we have on DVD. So, the television was on all day long but they also busied themselves with other things a bit. 

Hayden took up residence in the red rocker for the day. 
Bailey asked if I had a hot glue gun. This would entertain her for the rest of the day. It was interrupted intermittently with applying make-up and refreshing that application while adding liberal doses of perfume. Oh My!!
The plan was for me to take the Mini's somewhere to dinner with Claude joining us. Then he would leave for a 6pm meeting in Sadieville and I would drive the kids to see Papa, have ice cream at Dairy Queen and then on home to LaGrange. The weather report had other ideas. As the day progressed we watched the report change for storms to tornado potential. Andie was concerned and we started the texting with each of us watching the weather in our respective parts of the Commonwealth. At 4pm we watched the Lexington news and weather and decided to move up the timetable and go to dinner then. I packed my make-up bag, curling iron and Institute lesson materials in case I needed to spend the night at the Marx home. While at Hardee's at Love's I received another text from Andie. The storm was already coming down heavy at her home. It was moving our way. Claude remembered he had a meeting in Louisville at 11:30am Wednesday. We decided he would take the kids with him Wednesday and Andie would meet him and take them on home. So back to our house we went and curled up for the evening. We all picked up with the various activities we had left off and Claude went to his meeting and then joined us for the evening as the thunder rolled on it. There was a tornado in one Kentucky county for sure. Not one is Sadieville but the storm was very intense and I was very happy not to be on the highway during it.

Wednesday morning we piled the Mini's in the Jeep and Claude drove them to Louisville.
It is lots of fun to have the Mini's. They are getting older and can do most things for themselves. They know where things are in the house and feel right at home getting what they need. They are also quieter during the 1 1/2 hour car ride each way to and from LaGrange. Just a different feel and that will get even more different as they become teens. Love having family visit. Grateful to carry on the Spring Break Sleepover tradition. Tradition!!

General Conference...

Saturday, March 31st & Sunday, April 1st were General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I spent each of those mornings in Georgetown with Papa. Then I would hurry home to find Claude in the basement with the big television on the BYU-TV Channel ready to watch conference with me. 

This was an absolutely amazing General Conference for these reasons:

  1. We sustained a new Prophet and President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His name is Russell M. Nelson. His occupation prior to his full-time Church service which began many years ago was a cardiac surgeon. He was world renowned. He actually trained the surgeon that performed Papa's triple by-pass years ago. 
  2. We sustained two new Apostles: Gerrit W. Gong and Ulisses Soares. We have been privileged to have each of the men attend our stake at various times and for various reasons. They are amazing leaders in the Church.
  3. A new General Young Women's presidency was sustained.
  4. During the Saturday evening Priesthood session the Priesthood was restructured so that we will now only have an Elder's Quorum in the ward instead of a High Priest Group and an Elder's Quorum. The High Priest Group will now be made up of the Stake Presidency and the High Council, the Stake Patriarch and the ward Bishoprics. All other Priesthood holders will be a part of their ward Elder's Quorum. 
  5. Visiting Teaching and Home Teaching were discontinued. Instead we will have Ministering Brothers & Sisters. Included in this will be Young Women aged 14-18 as appropriate. 
  6. And, as if that was not enough to take our breath away, seven new temples were announced. One will be in Russia. Absolutely amazing.
The talks were so cup filling for me. Here are a couple of thoughts that were important to me:

  • God sanctifies your most difficult days.
  • God walks with us along the covenant path.
  • Success is going from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.
  • Meekness is something we become.
  • We have today to live.
  • Love is a foundation stone.
A solemn assembly was held Saturday during the first session to sustain Pres. Nelson and Elders Gong and Soares. During this, members are asked to stand and then raise their right hand to sustain the person. Even in our home, I was very moved when they asked all High Priests to stand and my dear hubby and stood and raised his right hand in a sustaining vote. Then I stood when they had the Relief Society sisters stand and we both stood when they asked all members to stand. I found this very moving. The Spirit was strong even in our little home with just the two of us.

It was an excellent conference and I am so very grateful Claude and I could watch it together.