Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Son

Today is Seth's birthday. It's always a little tender for a mother of a missionary when she can't talk with one of their children on their birthday. I take comfort in knowing that Seth said that somebody in the ward was going to feed them dinner and they knew it was his birthday so I assume some good woman somewhere made my son a cake for his birthday and stepped in where I cannot. For that, I am grateful. Happy 20th Son, I hope you've had a wonderful day. We miss you.

We had a busy week this week because we celebrated Pioneer Day on Thursday. It's a fabulous tradition that Utah has making July 24th a state holiday so that we can remember the pioneers who settled the Salt lake Valley at such tremendous sacrifice for us. I met Sarah and the kids at the parade and we loved it.
Hannah had a great time
 waving to everybody and clapping.
Nathan liked it but thought things
were a bit too loud. :)
I loved it because I LOVE parades!
Gregory joined us a little later after his bike ride.
This float made me think of Seth.
 Pioneers aplenty.
This one was my favorite depicting
 the pioneers crossing the ocean.
Later we had a BBQ.
And swimming!!

It was a nice day. Jim and I sat on the deck at 10 pm and watched the fireworks. We had a nice view and we reminisced about the years our children were all home and how much fun we've had on the 24th over the years. It's just us now, but we still enjoy celebrating the day. I think the pioneers would like that.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Message From A Missionary

Seth sent a letter to me to share with the Young Men in our ward. I will share a portion of it here because it tells about the joy of missionary work better than I ever could.

"Dear Friends,

I have wanted to write all of you for a while now, but it is hard to find time on my mission...I just want to let you all know how much I love all of you and miss all of you...I hope school is going well and that you are staying strong. I hope the summer is going well and that you are staying busy and having fun. Priests, don't forget the challenge that Brother Evans gave us to read and pray everyday. :)

I just wanted to let all of you know how much my mission has meant to me in my life. The decision to serve a mission has been the best decision I have ever made. It have had so many of experiences that have changed my life. I have felt so much joy. I have been able to have so many wonderful relationships with our investigators, the members and with the other missionaries. I will cherish these relationships for the rest of my life.

I have felt my mission change me every day. I have come to know my Savior so much better. My testimony has grown so much. I also feel that I have become more converted (when I think of conversion, I think of consistently being true to my testimony). It is such a rare opportunity to be completely devoted to the Lord...there are no experiences that compare. I feel so close to Heavenly Father and so confident that He is mindful of us and willing to help us....missions are hard, but I want to let you know that the hard times are a blessing. They are opportunities to grow faster than we normally would. We know that the pioneers came to know Christ in their extremity, and this is also true for the mission. You will have to rely on Him in a powerful way that will strengthen your relationship with Him for the rest of your matter where we are now, the mission will help us become who Heavenly Father needs us to become. I have felt the greatest joy I have ever felt in my whole life as I have tried to lose myself in serving God's children... I encourage all of you to take the opportunity to will change your lives. It has changed my life.

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know He is real. I know that He has a perfect love for us. I know He sent His Son to suffer and die for us. I know that this is truly His church! I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and is God's word, and that a man will get closer to God by abiding its precepts than by any other book. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and truly restored the lost parts of Christ's church and gospel. I know that God guides us by a prophet of God today, President Thomas S. Monson.

Elder Freeman"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"I Love Being A Missionary"

Seth ended his email home this week with  two very tender statements. He said, " I love being a missionary... It is the best time of my whole life. :) "
I remember the feelings of loving my mission and loving being a missionary. He's in the middle portion of his mission where he is lost in his missionary labors. It won't be until he is released next year when the full impact of his mission will hit him when he feels the release so powerfully. There is a definite difference.
These are pictures of Seth and his zone and his area with his new mission president and his wife. Seth looks very good. He looks very happy. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

31 Years Next Week

Elisa took this yesterday.
31 years is a long time.
I still like him. :)
 Because of our marriage here,
eternity looks wonderful to me.
An eternal family begins in the temple.

Marriage for eternity
Why temples?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Catching Up

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks and I am behind in blogging so here goes:
 I visited Ian and Jessa in Connecticut for a week.
We had a fabulous time together.
I LOVE Connecticut.
We went to Newport, Rhode Island on a drive.
It's one of my favorite places.
They loved it too.
We went to a beach near where they are staying that evening
watched a fabulous sunset
and enjoyed an amazing fireworks show on the lake!
It was one of the best I have ever seen.
It was so much fun.
The next day, we visited the site of the
 Hartford, Connecticut Temple in Farmington.
The steel frame is up and I love the way it sits on the temple lot.
We went to West Haven Beach...
 perhaps one of my most favorite places of all.
My sister Sue and her husband Bruce met us for dinner.
My niece Amber was also with us.
We had a GREAT time.
The next day I met Sue again.
 We actually had lunch at our brother Rob's grave.
 It was tender for sure because we both miss him so much.
A severe weather alert grounded my flight for almost 8 hours.
And I wound up sleeping overnight in an airport. I kept telling myself it was better than camping. That helped. That was an experience to say the least, and I was happy to finally get home!
I came home to a beautiful yard!
There were blooming daisies
brown-eyed Susans
and purple cone flowers.
So pretty!
I made it home in time for Hannah's birthday...
and Nathan's...
their birthdays are five days apart.
A joint party was in order...
and they were thrilled.
Other Grandma Connie and Grandpa Yogi came.
Both Grandpa's share a birthday ten years apart.
Connie misses her Hannah and Nathan 
a lot because she lives in Canada.
Gregory brought in a nice surprise for Nathan.
Not sure what to say about this one. :)
He's growing up so fast.
They both are.

It was a great trip. I drove close to 800 miles. I love driving in Connecticut. It is one of my all time favorite places. I also went over to New York to do some genealogy research. I am waiting on a bunch of certificates to see what I may have found. It was wonderful to see Ian and Jessa doing so well and wonderful to visit with my sister. I feel blessed in so many ways and as always, am very grateful.