18 February 2014

I Like High Council Sunday!

I know there's a common joke that High Council speakers are boring, even referred to as Dry Council, but in our little Twig (Branch) I LOVE the High Council speakers, and yesterday's were wonderful.

We usually have only one High Councilman, who brings a companion of his choice to speak with him. Yesterday's companion was a youngish (anybody younger than me is young!) man who had served in Iraq in 2003, married with a few young children. He told his conversion story through the theme of Trust in the Lord. It was a great story! I hope he writes it down for his children. He told how the Lord had gently led him and sent people to guide him to the Church. He is excited to be able to baptize his oldest son, this spring. He also talked about the importance of sharing the gospel with those around us so they too will have the opportunity to feel the joy we feel and receive the blessings we have.

The actual High Councilman also spoke about trusting in the Lord as we go through the trials of life. His wife died about two years ago and he had to learn to trust God and grow from his trial. His testimony was poignant and sweet, much like those of the handcart pioneers. He was grateful for his adversity because he grew to know and love the Savior through it.

The Spirit was so strong in the meeting; I felt refreshed and filled. I had gone to church fasting because I felt the need of some extra help in teaching the Relief Society lesson. The talks filled my reservoir enough that I could teach with the Spirit and lead a good discussion about Strengthening our Families.

On another subject: Last night for FHE we read a couple of chapters in Genesis as we had missed family scripture reading in the morning. Joseph, who was sold into Egypt made himself known to his brothers and sent for his father; then the generations of the family are listed. We ended up laughing ourselves silly as we read all the names, wondering how they ever came up with them. Our favorites are Muppim and Huppim, sons of Benjamin. Do you think they were twins?

12 February 2014

Gratitude: A Sure Cure for the Mid-Winter Blues

I'm really struggling with the endless bitter cold here in Iowa. I'm so ready for warmer weather and green growing things. I gave myself a good shake as I got on the treadmill to get my blood moving (the only times I feel warm are when I'm in bed, in the shower, or on the treadmill) and thought of things that I'm grateful for. I have so much!

1. A husband who loves me
2. Five wonderful children
3. A warm house to live in
4. A heater that works
5. Running hot and cold water
6. Plenty of food to eat
7. Warm clothes to wear
8. Good health (generally)
9. The Gospel of Jesus Christ
10. Husband has a good job and NEVER complains about having to go to work

And a whole bunch more. After I thought about those things I felt better and could face the day.

10 February 2014

Never give up! Never surrender!

We watched a family favorite movie last night: Galaxy Quest. It's a delightful movie and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

I think their motto should be part of our family motto, right after "Keep the Commandments".

We are in a battle with Satan to the (spiritual) death and we can encourage each other with a rousing "Never give up! Never surrender!"

As a discouraged missionary I was amazed at how many times the phrase "endure to the end" appears in the scriptures; three in the New Testament, ten in the Book of Mormon, and five in the Doctrine and Covenants. I marked all of them for encouragement on the days I felt I just couldn't go on.

Another phrase I've marked is "be not weary in well doing", found three times in the scriptures. It helps me to know that I'm not the only one who has felt this way, that others getting bogged down too, for whatever reason, in their callings and have to be reminded to not be discouraged.

I've never been a part of an athletic team, but I can imagine how discouraging it must be to be in the last bit of the game against an opponent who appears to be set to win the game. Well, we're in the last bit of the BIG game here on earth and although it appears that the opponent is winning, we already know the outcome of this one. So keep your jerseys on and Never Give Up! Never Surrender!

05 February 2014

I'm not cheating, Really!

I'm participating in the BYU-I Pathway program, which is an amazing way for adults to begin or continue college. I won't take time to explain it all, since you can go see for yourself at the link.

I had to confess to my Book of Mormon teacher that I feel like I'm cheating because I teach Seminary (religion classes for high school age) and this year is Book of Mormon so I pretty much know what's what for each lesson. Nice easy A for me this time.

This program is amazing and I'm enjoying it; mostly, until this week. The lesson this week in Life Skills is on career planning. I got a laugh out of TopDad when I explained that we have to answer questions about our current career (if we are in one), one of which is "What would be the benefits of a career change?" and I said "I could get paid in money!"

Okay, so I was trying to be funny. The questions I actually have to answer are almost as irrelevant. I live in a town of about 2,100, the nearest large city is an hour and a half either west or east of me. There aren't "careers" here, there are jobs. Well, I guess if you were interested in banking you could start at one bank and then move to the other if the pay was better or maybe the hours or benefits. And you could work at the Subway, before moving over to the convenience store. There is a nice nursing home and a medical clinic, hey, there's even a nice hospital here. There's one dentist, two optometrists see patients one day a week here; there's a couple of law offices; and a hearing aid place, two pharmacies, and a library, as well as a post office. There are a few stores, and a couple of gas stations; a whole bunch of mechanics, a car dealership, and a couple of farm equipment dealers, as well as lots of other farm related businesses. There are two bars, three restaurants, a movie rental place, some antique shops, and Chuck's Bargain Barn.

So, the question "Are there currently positions available in your desired career within an acceptable commuting distance from your home or will you need to relocate in order to be employed in this field?" is difficult to answer. Or not. No there aren't positions available, but no I'm not going to relocate because my husband's job is here and his job is more important than any I'll get.

Can we just skip this lesson?

I'm in my desired career so I'm not going to get a job (I'd be almost retirement age before I finish school) I just want the piece of paper that says I'm educated.