Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wednesday the 21 we had everyone come over the the Social Room to celebrate the "Big Birthday" for January.  Grandpa, Shelly, Stuart and Ben.  Grandpa is now 70 years old even though he would like to deny it.  

We had Damion and his Girl friend and Children come over to the Party.  He is the person that we met in Legacy Theater and assisted in his conversion.  

The Draper Temple is now open for visitors until March.  We talked about going with Damion and Marty and Melody next week.  We have tickets for the open house for guests and people from out of town at the Square.  The tickets have been a great missionary tool as many guests want to know what the inside of a temple is like and what are Temples used for.  

I still remember the Time when I was called to serve as Bishop of the Sandy 23rd ward.  It was Saturday night of Stake Conference when the phone rang and I was asked to bring Marlene and Todd over to meet with the Stake President.  I thought that perhaps they wanted to interview Todd to become a Elder as he had just turned 18.  President Cooper said that they wanted me to be the Bishop of the Ward that they would sustain me in the 10 am session the next morning that I needed to submit the names of my councilors as soon as I got home.  The feeling was overwhelming some have said that they have had a feeling that they were going to be called, such was not for me.  I spent a lot of time on my knees they next years as I needed all of the support the Lord would give to me.   It was hard to sit on the stand while my family was in the congregation. Marlene was such a support to me she never complained about the need for me to be gone so much of the time.  I have many times reflected on the effort that I gave to the Ward.  I have always felt good about my service because I know that I did the best that I could.  

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New Mission President

President Stewart time as president of our mission has passed.  We have a new leader, President Michael Holms,  He has been a mission president in the past also served as a Area Authority Seventy.  The change took place Wednesday.  We had a mission Conference Friday at which he introduced him self.  He is a very spiritual man with a great knowledge of the scriptures.  We are very supportive of his call.  

The fact that the amount of visitors has slowed makes for greater opportunity to talk to the guests at length.  We are working at the West Gate on Tuesday afternoon so I have been able to escort the guests who want to take a tour over to the South Gate where the tours start.  Two men came to the gate as I was walking them for their tour we were having in a conversation about the church.  We stopped on the way so I could answer their questions, lots of really good questions.  The best question was what is required to join your church?  I hope that the missionaries will have the best answer to that question.

Many people who visit are impressed with different things here.  I had a man come and tell me of his mother who visited the square many years ago and talked about the visit frequently and that the best thing was the clean bathrooms.  He then told me that he had made a personal inspection and was also very impressed with the same.  He said the the urinals where very special.   I was surprised as I thought that the bathrooms were just ordinary.

The Draper Temple is having a open house and we have special tickets to give to guests to attend.  We have so many people who would like to see the inside of a temple that this is a real opportunity to have an very strong additional tool to teach the gospel.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January slows

January is now here and things have really slowed down.  The Christmas lights have been turned off and are now starting to be removed.  The amount of visitors on the Square has really slowed down.  It is nice because now we have time to visit more with the people that come here.  The Christmas time is so busy that the missionaries really don't have time visit with them.  Sister Glad continues to get referrals all of the time I don't really do so well as her.  She is so special as a missionary.  She can see and feel the people who come here that will accept missionaries to come to their home.  I would like to share some of the her experiences.  

Monday was really cold.  We were working in the Tabernacle, very few people were coming.  We had four young women come in to visit and get cold they were from Taylorsville.  Mom noticed that as the were talking "Mormon talk" one of them was holding back.  Sister Glad asked her if she was a member of the Church.  She said no, that She was from back east and was visiting with her cousins family here in Utah.  Mom then asked her is She would like to know more about our church and got a referral.

Some people came in at the South Gate.  I asked them is they would like to take a tour with the Sisters, they said No, then I asked them If they would like a map of the Square, No again.  Sister Glad was in the booth and She leaned out and asked them if they would like to know more about the Church.  Yes, they also wanted a Book of Mormon.  

South Gate again, guests came and were talking to Mom about how they enjoyed the tour with the Sisters.  She asked them if they had filled out a comment card about how they enjoyed the tour. They said yes that they had.  She asked them if they had checked any of the boxes on the bottom of the card, They didn't know what the boxes were.  Mom said that there if they wanted to have representatives of the church come to visit them and give them a Book of Mormon.  They said yes they filled out another card with the correct information so the missionaries could visit them.

South Visitors Center, a guest who when asked if she wanted to take a tour said she didn't have time.  So Sister glad talked to her and found that She came to Utah once a month from Oregon to take piano lessons from a very special instructor.  They talked about music, when some how Mom was able to bring the conversation around to the Church. She agreed to have the missionaries come to her home.  

Each case they would not made a referral by the normal methods but Sister Glad was in tune to the spirit and knew they would respond if approached differently.

Early sad times.  My Mom died of a heart attack when I was in 4th grade.  My brother and I came home from a Ward Movie to find an ambulance in front of our house and learn that She was gone.  She died in December just prior to Christmas.  It was really hard for my dad to be both Mom and Dad for us.  The most cruel thing that happened to me during that time was in School. I arrived to School early one day to find the teacher and I alone.  She took me in the wash room and proceeded to wash my face and berated me because I had not washed good enough that day.  She they proceeded to tell me that Abraham Lincoln was always washed even though his mother had died.  I was heart broken so have some one that didn't care enough to find out what my situation was and say such unkind works. It still hurts me to think of the experience.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

After Christmas and a New year

I thought that I would share some pictures of our favorite gifts.  Mom got me a Nerf Gun it was great, better than all the other neat stuff she gave me.  I have had a great time in the week between Christmas and New Year making great shots when she was not expecting it.  Now I can't find it.  It is just like the fates to have your best stuff gone when you were enjoying it the most.
Mom lost the Diamond in her anniversary ring, so I took it to the Jeweler and since it was the center stone replaced it with a Ruby.  I think it looks great.  Mom likes it too. 
Bruce and Tara came to see us the Tuesday of the week before Christmas.  They could not come to the family party at Melodies house so we had a great visit and exchanged gifts.  They as so tied down with the job they have at the shelter home.  He is going to School while they work and is still on course to get the degree he is working for. 

We had Todd and Shelly come to spend New Years Eve with us.  We went on the Square to share in the First Night events.  The Island  dancers were really good and the last event was just what Mom wanted, John Schmidt put on a great performance.  He played the Piano with his foot and all the weird stuff he does.  

We were working on the Square when Utah played in the Sugar Bowl, so we missed the fun when they beat up on Alabama.

Story about Christmas Past. 

When the kids were still very small and I was working as a Radiographer.  I was asked to go to Nevada just before Thanksgiving for a few days.  We went and found that we had been assigned to work as welding inspectors on the encasement sphere at the Nevada Test Site.  We were to go down in the bottom of a very deep shaft where they were going to place a nuke for testing and see that the the welding was done properly.  Time went by and I could not go home, more time passed, three months, until the job was finished on the 24th of December.  

I got up early in the morning and drove home so I could be there for Christmas.  I was so excited to come in the house after dark on Christmas eve to great my family after so long of a separation.  I walked in my home to find Mom finishing the Christmas that she had prepared. She was really glad to see me.  Todd, Melody and Clay were all in bed waiting for Santa to come.  They heard the commotion and came running down the stairs shouting Santa, Santa, Santa.  Todd got down stairs and saw what was really going on and said "Oh it is only Dad".

I didn't have any gifts so after giving my wife a kiss I went looking for a store that would be open on Christmas Eve after 10:00 pm, the only store I could find was a "Grand Central Market".  I did get some gifts and I found that the prices are pretty good late Christmas Eve even if the clerks were a little bit grouchy.