Friday, August 16, 2013

You don't have to be friends to ask...

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Sometimes we are called, "Mormons".
I had the blessing to be a missionary in Guatemala for 18 months as a full time missionary.  I fell in love with the people, and language, and culture, and everything Spanish.  A couple of days ago, one of my piano students asked me, "are you part Hispanic?".  My response, "no, but I'd like to be!"

A missionary's life isn't easy.  Imagine, no TV, radio, internet, newspapers or magazines, personal time etc. for 24 months for the men, and 18 months for the women.  Living in strange areas (or countries) for 4-6 months, then moving on to a new area.  Living 24/7 with a companion who you may love, or who you may have to learn how to love.  Doors slammed, rejection, long hours, I could go on and on, but it's a hard life.

And a beautiful life.  Spending every single day for 24 or 18 months talking about, and teaching people about Jesus Christ.  Seeing lives change as the people you teach feel the Holy Ghost, and recognize the truths that you've been teaching them.  It truly is an awesome experience.

And then, you go home, where your family (and life) await you.  Suddenly you have to focus on your own problems, not everyone else's.

I know, I know, - you may be asking, "what's the point? where is this going?"

Here's where.  I just had an awesome missionary experience this morning.  AWESOME.

I went to a meeting this last week with all of the missionaries and leaders in our area.  Someone who spoke, said, "you don't have to be friends with people to ask if they'd like to hear what you believe".  That is the only thing that I really remember from that meeting, because I sort of stopped in my tracks and really ruminated on it.  Wait, what?  How do I ask complete strangers?  It was easy as a missionary, people were intrigued by my nametag and Americanness.  Middle aged housewife - maybe not so much now... Huh?

We found some bug remains (carpenter ants it turns out) in a wall when we removed an outlet plate for painting.  I called the bug people, and this morning, had an appointment with the bug lady. .

When I woke up today, I had the thought, "I need to ask her if she would like to learn what I believe".  Then I thought, huh?  How is this going to work?

She came.  She did her job, then was inclined to chat.  She started talking about her granddaughter, and taking her to church.  I am not friends with her, but I stated, "I'm a Mormon, would you like to hear what I believe?"  She said yes, and asked some very specific questions, and we had a fantastic conversation.  She asked where the closest church to her is, and I gave her a map and directions.  I truly felt like I needed to share with her, and she was so very grateful that I'd asked.  She's trying out different churches right now, trying to figure out what she believes, and as we spoke, she felt something, she felt the Holy Ghost confirming that the things we were talking about were true. It was really cool.  Not an everyday experience, but one I hope I'll remember.

I forget to share what I believe sometimes, and worry sometimes that someone will be offended if I do share my beliefs with them.  Today I learned two things.
1. I don't have to be friends with someone to invite them to hear what I believe.  Shocking, but true.
2. It's quite possible that the person I speak with, may be looking and praying, and it may be an answer to someone else's prayers.  God will use use us, if we will let Him.  I know that.

So, if you know me, (or don't) and want to know about the things I believe to be true, message me, or go to or   - consider it an invitation!


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Health issues

I just want to say that this hasn't been our most favorite year in regards to health issues.

Regarding my husband, we still don't quite know what is going on.  We've been hanging out at the Dr. office a lot lately, and he's donated a ton of blood to the hospital lab, in hopes of figuring something out, and fortunately, my husband is pretty darn healthy.
Unfortunately, he doesn't feel very healthy, and they can't figure out what it may be or why.

This last week he cut out all sugars, white/refined/processed products and seemed like he was starting to pop out of it.  But not quite.  The doctor thinks maybe he's dealing with something similar to hypoglycemia, but we aren't quite sure if that is it. Sometimes he is fine, seemingly normal, but then he'll crash.

If anyone has experience with this, I'd love any thoughts or comments.  Prayers welcomed. 

Things are not always as they appear

Yesterday, we headed over to Home Depot, and attended a interior painting class.
The whole family.
It wasn't very organized and was a little slow, but we learned a few nifty tips and I think the kids learned some creative painting options.
We picked up our paint, and headed home to begin our big painting project.  We've been putting in ceiling fans and overhead lights, and doing electrical stuff, and patching walls, and now we are finally ready to get rid of "electric green" and "robin's egg blue" in the girl's rooms.  That slow to - do list when you buy a new place....
We taped everything up, moved the bed and bookshelves and while my husband looked for the rollers that we haven't used for two years, I started priming the windowsill.
He came in with a nifty gadget and started priming up a storm (what I did in 20 minutes took him two).  We were almost ready to start rock and rolling (get it?)
Just then I got a phone call.
Our church was having a Young Single Adults Conference for everyone (single) between 18-31 for the state of Florida, and part of Georgia.  For whatever reason, some of the anticipated help hadn't worked out, and help was needed immediately.
We appreciated that they felt like they could call on our family to help out in a time of need, and quickly showered, and got on the road.
We got different assignments.  Our oldest daughter helped slice hoagie buns for cold cut lunches today. My husband transferred food between the refrigerated truck, to the rooms where foods were processed (sliced, cut, or whatever) back and forth.  At least I think that's what he did.
The young'un and I got to hang out outside.  We helped get the tables set up, moved a tent to over the water coolers and made tasty beverages....enough to quench the thirst of 800+ people in Florida on a hot summers day.  Not an easy feat I assure you.
It was really hot.  We sweated a lot.  We really appreciated the freezer trailer.  The little one would climb into it for a quick cool down as we needed bags and bags of ice.  Sometimes we hugged the ice as we transported it - momentary bliss.
As everyone began to eat, we manned the beverages, keeping them full and it kept us running back and forth.
While our day didn't quite turn out as we had expected, we were blessed to be able to help and serve so many people.  Our youngest got to help out with "bowling" using pineapples as pins, and coconuts as the balls.  We observed "spearing watermelons", and watched hula dancers and fire dancers as well. Our youngest even got to go up and participate, and she was pretty jealous when she saw the karaoke and dance going on inside towards the end of the evening.

What was interesting to me though, was that it was a blessing to us to be able to be there.  When we first arrived, were in line waiting for the restroom and I asked some of the people where they were from.  One of the girls was from nearby and I asked if she knew some of our friends who live in their area.  She answered yes, and told me that one of the young men in that family will be heading to California (Long Beach) for the next two years to be a missionary for our church.  I hadn't heard, and was elated to receive this news.  Several of his siblings were at the conference, and we were able to see them and momentarily catch up.  We will visit with them this evening, before he leaves tomorrow for his mission.

We got to serve others, and to see friends, and to find out about this special news and have the opportunity to see our friend before he leaves.

School starts tomorrow and we today we were able to move back into our chapel that was under reconstruction for the past 8 months.  Hooray! And the AC in the primary room works - double HOORAY!  Life is good - even when it doesn't quite turn out as we anticipated.

Oh, and church time moved back to the early time.  That means Sunday naps!