The $50.00 Gift Card

It's amazing how sometimes something so insignificant means something to someone else.

One day at the family history center, I was helping a wonderful lady who was visiting her daughter in St George.  They were going to go to Chicago the next day, but her husband didn't feel well, so she canceled her trip to the temple to come to the discovery center.  I helped her for a couple of hours and she told me a little bit about her family.  I really enjoyed her and wished her well on her trip to Chicago.

About two weeks later, I got a card in the mail from her.  Enclosed in the letter was a $50.00 gift certificate to The Painted Pony Restaurant.  I'm still in shock over that!  I mean, who does that?

Not anyone I know.  It was so thoughtful, so unexpected, so generous, so kind, and such a fun surprise.

Today, RAH and I ate at the Painted Pony for lunch.  While my meal was certainly not something I would ever order again, it was a delightful experience and RAH loved his meal.

We ordered an hors d'oeuvre that I've never had before....bacon-wrapped dates with an almond in the middle.  It was so delicious with a raspberry drizzle.  YUM, YUM, YUM!

The thought of that card will warm my heart for a very long time.

And, it reminds me how good many people in the world really are!


Stories From the Mission

They were very strict Catholics.

But, they loved the Family Search Discovery Center.

We got them a free account on family search.org and it was so fun for them to trace some of their lines back.  At the end of our being together for about three hours, he asked how much he owed me for my time.  HA HA  - I loved that.  There's no money that can pay for the joy of what we do at the family history center.......

But, when I work with people, over and over again, I am distressed about the disjointedness of families.

They don't speak to each other, they don't know each other....(the lady mentioned above did not even know her mother's real name because she had changed it so often.  And, I'm not talking married name, either.).  They have long-held grudges, they haven't seen or talked to people for YEARS.  They no little or nothing about their parents and grandparents, where they came from, etc.  It's just amazing to me, truly.

I understand so much more clearly the need for


I am continually grateful for my own family - parents, children, grandchildren, in-laws.  What a great blessing.

But, I love the mission; it has given me insight into families and people.

And, it's such a fun thing when they catch on and see pictures and family names.  It's a high.

And, I love it.


Tales From the Mission

She was not a member of the church.

But, her doctor suggested because she had a lot of extra time between cancer treatments, that she might enjoy the family discovery center.

Enjoy it, she did.

We found an extended tree with information she had not previously had.  And, she loved going thru the Discovery Center, doing as it suggests; discovering things about her family and ancestors.

It was so fun to meet Sandy.  I rejoiced with her at all the things she discovered that day.

However, I also felt sad for her as she has no children and her husband is deceased.

She lives in Mesquite and comes to SG for cancer treatments, as did her husband.  She showed a slight interest in the church and loved all the caregivers, nurses, doctors, etc.  at the hospital.  She realized that many were Mormons, and she said, "THEY ARE JUST SO HAPPY!"

That made my heart sing.

She had just gone to get a coffee, and I mentioned that Mormons don't drink coffee.  She was so surprised and said, "Well, I know they don't drink COKE, but I had no idea they don't drink coffee!"

Ha ha; made me laugh.

Have I mentioned that I truly love the mission?!?!?!??!??

Yes, I do.


Tales of Adoption

In the last three months, two members of our ward have found their birth families, thanks to DNA Testing and Facebook.

They have been thrilled and excited.

They have found answers and with great joy have bonded with new families.

It has been so fun to hear their stories.  I have spoken at length with both of these people;

Bobbie Jo and Dave.

But, here's my question - to no one in particular....

What if your family background is ugly....

Would you want to know?

What if your father is in jail for rape or robbery?

Would that be difficult to find out?

What if your mother is a homeless drug addict?

Would that be a pleasant discovery?

I ask these questions because I know of a situation where some of this is true.

And, it's so sad to know that a parent is really not a good person at this point.

And, no, I don't think the adopted person would want to know.

So, for Bobbie Jo and Dave, they are rejoicing,

But, it's not good news for every adoptee.

Perhaps what was hidden should stay hidden.

SoRRow That the Eye Can't See

Sometimes the ache in my heart is heavier than I care to carry.

Sometimes the hurt is overpowering.

Sometimes all I want to do is weep, cry, sob, and then weep some more.

Sometimes I forget how truly blessed I am in so many ways.

So, when that happens,

I MUST turn to the Saviour.

I MUST use the Atonement in my life.

I MUST recover the joy we are meant to have.

If not, then Satan wins the battle over my innermost feelings. 

LEAVE, sorrow, and let me REJOICE in what is good.

That is my prayer for right now when sorrow overtakes me - again.

Oh, family; sometimes the greatest sorrow lies therein.

Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and rejoice.


From the Mission

On Tuesday, Ken came in.  He's a larger-than-life Texan and Lousianian.  Normally, he works with Sister Deck, but she was out having eye surgery, so he was sent to me to work with.

He had some names he wanted to put in his family tree.  But, what he really wanted to do was T.A.L.K.  And, talk, he did.

Since I'm a lover of human interest stories, I was captivated by all his stories....particularly this horrible, sad one.

His younger brother had 6 DUIs.  On the last one, he killed a little black boy.  He was sentenced to a year in prison.  After the trial, the judge took Ken, his father, and his brother back into his office.  And, he said, "Now, Glen, I'm gonna give you a year, but let you out in 6 months.  But, I'm telling you this, if that had been a white boy you killed, you'd be in for twenty or thirty years!"

I was HORROR STRICKEN!  I still am.

I expressed my shock and disgust and Ken said, "Ma'am, that's just how it was in the deepest South in the 60's!"

Ken's mother beat him on a regular basis for any infraction she deemed worthy of a beating.  Often he would have to get his own switch.  But, sometimes it was a heavy rope, a belt, whatever she could find.  When she started to beat Ken, his father got in his truck and drove away for awhile.  On her deathbed, she called Ken to her side, and said, "If I had it to do over again, I would treat you better, and I would learn about that church of yours."

One dark late night, as a Senior in high school, Ken went out to the football field, fell on his knees, and cried out, "I don't even know if there is a God, but if there is, HELP ME, FIND ME!"

A couple of years later, a co-worker introduced Ken and his wife to the church and he has been in the church for many many years.

I just love hearing stories like these of wonderful people trying to find God and the right church.

I'm so thankful for this mission.


From the Mission

Deborah was working late on Tuesday night.  She needed my help with the scanner.

She explained that she was working on a project for her children for Christmas....using all the old photos from their scrapbooks, she was making each of her five children a book with the photos from their growing-up years.  It was going to be a mammoth project.

We talked a little; I was impressed with her cheerful and pleasant nature.

On Wednesday, she was back again working on another child for the project.  I asked how many children she had; five was her response.  She then added, "But, I am the legal guardian for another child."

Then Deborah told me about Jody, her child of guardianship.  She had taken Jody in at age 6.  Jody is blind, has cerebral palsy, can't talk, feed herself, use the bathroom, dress herself or function older than a very young child.

Jody is now 40!  And Deborah has been her care-giver all that time.  Smiling, cheerful Deborah.  Happy, pleasant Deborah, who has been the sole source of income since about 1997 when her husband became unable to work.  She owned a day-care facility, went to night school full-time to become a teacher, cared for her own family and for Jody.

Deborah is my new uncomplaining and inspiring hero.

For me, serving this mission is all about meeting people like Deborah.  Each has a story.  Each is inspiring.  Each brings something for me to learn every Tuesday and Wednesday.

And, I feel grateful for this brief period of time to work at the family search center.