Thursday, February 12, 2009

12 Feb 2009 Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! We love you. I found a box of Harry Potter Valentines at Vinnie’s and have given out valentines to my visiting teaching companions and the sisters we visit this month as well as David and Fatima’s family. I have one saved for Daddy B.J. on Saturday too. Today I will be doing my last VT route with my sister. This year I have four companions and visit with two sisters on each route. I have been able to do some extra things besides a monthly visit for several of them and that really makes me feel like I truly representing the love of Jesus Christ to them as a visiting teacher.
One of my companions is LaVon Willey. She is legally blind and tripped one night giving herself a black eye and some very sore ribs. I took her and her husband chef salads to add a little variety to their diet. Her husbands parents were the stake missionaries, who taught my family the gospel in 1957. Her husband, Kay, has one of the very slow progressing forms of leukemia. They both are stalwarts in the gospel and keep simply coming our to church on Sundays as their chief goal for each week. LaVon and I visit Debbie Burge, who is our ward primary president, at work at the Miller-Woodlawn funeral home’s social hall in the basement. Whenever I turn up in primary as a substitute – as I did last Sunday helping with the nursery – I consider that a gift for Debbie. LaVon and I also visit 82-year-old Carol Wamsley. She said she would like to get out of her home more often, so I am taking her to the monthly book club Relief Society activity group at Crystal Sutton’s home.
Diana Purdy and I visit Leah Pierson and Dolly Wheeler. Leah phoned last week asking me if I could watch her son Joshua Friday, since a non-school day had taken her by surprise. I gave him a haircut while he was here.
Tina Wood and her husband have been approved for section 8 government housing, so although we don’t know where they will move nor therefore how long she will be able to remain my companion, I take her packing boxes frequently (5 or 6 times so far). I pick them up from the back of the Red Apple grocery store, where they are free to customers. One of the sisters we visit is Tina Portune and I pick her up for choir practice each week. Our other sister is Imogene Newbrey, who is also on my activities committee. When she recently had heart surgery Tina and I visited her at the hospital.
My sister and I visit Tricia Sandbeck-Marshall. Daddy B.J. baptized her husband in December. They have been called to teach primary and I substituted for them one Sunday. Daddy B.J. and I plan to take them to the temple tomorrow night to do baptisms for the dead. Did you know that is a church goal for new members to do that about six weeks after baptism? Those who achieve that goal are more active to remain active in the church.
Anyway, you can see that being a visiting teacher really is a large part of my church activity. On the activities committee calling we have an Adult Dessert Auction and Dance coming Saturday night. I’ll tell you more about that after it occurs.
Ruth called and told me about the Pahrump Youth Conference held last weekend. She said 100 youth participated. Will set up the sound system, Kathryn and her brother prepared power point presentations Joseph, who planned to talk once for about 5 minutes ended up teaching a mini-class five times for 20 minutes each time and Ruth shared the whole event with the young women from her ward. It was very successful and with all that input from our wonderful family how could it have been otherwise?
Debbie called and we talked about the help mothers give their children. I was working on the FAFSA web application for Nathan Gent when the call came and that brought up the topic. Debbie helped Nicholas in his application to participate in a training program offered at his school for Juniors and Seniors looking forward to become firemen. He is excited about it and looks very official in all the gear. Debbie’s son Nathan is continuing his enthusiastic involvement in surfing and Debbie drives his out to the ocean early of a morning to join the kids with whom he practices. Now that sounds like a physically stimulating way to start the day.
Nathan called last night and today he is flying to Boston for the convention for college representatives from across the nation for the J Reuben Clark Law Society. Nathan is the president of his college’s student chapter. Meetings run through Saturday. Nathan was going to room with a fellow who’s wife had a baby at an unexpected time. Nathan sought other housing contacting the convention leaders and was disheartened to learn he might have to bear the expense of a costly hotel room. He started praying and it is working out better than he even originally planned. Hurrah for the answers to prayers. When we chatted I pointed out that this would be the last time I would be completing a FAFSA application for him. He hadn’t stopped to think about it and was very pleased to realize he is getting nearer the end of his college road.
I talked to Michael yesterday and he will be leaving for Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas, flying out early Monday and returning late Friday. He has lots of stops on his agenda and will work like crazy. He’s just happy he doesn’t have to be away from his “girls” longer or miss a Sunday. He said that during the last week of January and the first week of February his company did 75% as much business as following the huge destruction after Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans and gulf coast area. This time the work was the result of an ice storm in Arkansas, where power lines had ice accumulations as big as soda pop cans down their lengths, which snapped crossbars like toothpicks. Mike said in on place it took out every crossbar for 2 miles.
Mike said his and Jenna’s daily delights from Anna Kate include her excitement for pictures of temples and Jesus Christ and her insistence on saying prayers before naps as well as meals and bedtime. Mike said as fantastic a wife as Jenna is she is even a better mother.
David drove down Tuesday night to help Daddy B.J. give me a blessing on account of a tooth that was bothering me. I am most grateful for the priesthood and for Melaleuca and yes I am well on the way to healing. David said he had been talking to my sister and Cliff and that Fatima and he and the girls are now hoping to visit them in Salt Lake City for the 24th of July celebration this year. Fatima really wants to see that. Adryann recently won an award for the best penmanship in her class. David and Fatima are planning to hire a medical administrator for their office. It will lift a great burden from them both and should streamline the entire operation of the office.
In Benjamin’s last letter he told me how much he in enjoying the visits from Jernon and David’s family. They are currently the sunshine in his life. Grace and Dorian give him hugs and make him feel like a million bucks. Thank you, Kelly family.
I sent out an email to our kids yesterday letting them know that we cancelled the second phone number we had kept into out house for a couple of decades. Goodbye 479-8115. We simply don’t need it anymore. That is true not only because of Daddy B.J.’s cell phone but even more so because we don’t have kids at home to tie up our phone. Mike praised me saying it was a good way to economize.
I just read “Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased down the World's Most Notorious Nazi” by Neal Bascomb. I had previously listened to the audio book, “The Perfect Mile” about the breaking of the 4-minute mile record also by Bascomb. Both books were meticulously researched and amazing in the detail they included. It is wonderful when non-fiction can be as exciting as novels. For pure fun the Aunt Dimity books by Nancy Atherton are excellent. One of them was on the list of books for the monthly Relief Society book activity class at Crystal Sutton’s. At the first meeting I attended Crystal asked to suggestions from the group. Diana Purdy suggested “Veil of Roses” by Laura Fitzgerald. It is about a woman coming to the US from Iran and reveals the horrible repression faced by women there. It really made me appreciate this months Visiting Teaching theme “Understand the Divine Roles of Women” and the understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us of the valued place of women in Heavenly Father’s plan. See if you can find any of these books in libraries. You would enjoy them.
All our love to all of YOU!

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