7.31.2013

DOUG - A TRIBUTE



It was his last day of work after 33 years of working for the church; no slacking off for Doug, however - he worked as hard as ever.

He helped the job candidates, he cleaned up, he bustled about, he put away, fixed up, worked on the computers, interacted with the people coming in....just a routine day for him.

Then it was time for his retirement gathering.



And, oh, the stories we heard:

Giving someone a tie who said he liked the one Doug was wearing.

Buying a belt for someone who needed it for an interview.

Patiently working with angry, bitter, mean, smelly, ornery job candidates; he would willingly help all.

Adopting five children with challenges, in addition to the child they already had.

Giving a man his shirt who needed a nice shirt for an interview.

Packing up and helping people move, making sure he loaded the heaviest items.

BUT THE ULTIMATE:

GIVING A MAN HIS PANTS SO THE MAN COULD GO ON AN INTERVIEW!  (For two hours, Doug was locked in his office waiting for his pants to return).

Fixing a stranger's plumbing.

Driving people to job interviews.

Giving out money over and over again to people he sensed would not take advantage of the system or him.

Oh, dear Doug, can you even begin to imagine the impact you have had on the lives of so many, many people?  No, you can't imagine, because you are humble and wouldn't begin to understand the depth of feelings we all have for you.  Of how you have changed us.  Inspired us.  Shown us how to care for the "least of these my brethren."


We ALL respect, admire, and LOVE you.

Thank you, dear Doug, for the most amazing incredible 10 months - in a very challenging atmosphere for showing such tender mercies to all who entered those doors.



And watching how you treat others, we can see exactly what our Saviour is like!




7.30.2013

Tuesday's Tragedies

One right after another;

They just kept coming.

1.  Melinda was let go from her job as a PE teacher.  The reason given by her principal, who had never walked into her classroom:  She didn't smile enough.  Boy, I would like to hear the REAL reason because what she was told is RIDICULOUS!

2.  The homeless man had all HIS STUFF STOLEN:  walllet, ID, a few personal items.  Okay, so here's the question:  WHO STEALS FROM A HOMELESS PERSON?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!   I slipped him a $20.00 to just give him some bus money.  He agreed to come back and let us take him to a job interview....he never showed up...  Was I just suckered here?

3.  Bruce was making $28.00 an hour in California.  Here in St George - for the same work - he will make $8.00 an hour.  He can't even begin to live on that.

4.  Handsome, well-educated guy was let go from CPA firm in Las Vegas.  Can't find a job.

And, so it goes.

Just another Tuesday at the LDS Employment Center.


7.29.2013

D I, Goodwill, and Other Myths of That Sort

Occasionally, I go on a spree...

a GET-RID-OF-STUFF spree.

For me, it's always hard to toss things (give them away actually.)

Because, invariably, in just a matter of a short time, I NEED the things back.

And, in nothing was this more apparent than something that happened this week.

It still makes me sick to my stomach.

But, this is much more serious than a given-away purse or a pair of pants or an old vase.

Because you see, this sad story of throwing things away- not giving away- but THROWING away - involves PHOTOS.

Here's how it all played out.

About four or five years ago, when I was really into family history, my aunt gave me some old photos.  She knew who some of the people were and we put the names on the back.

The photos meant little or nothing to me as they were taken many years ago and were of people I knew nothing about.  I have kept them, looked at them, put them back in the box.  And then this spring when I was doing some serious spring cleaning, I took out the folder of pictures.  I had no clue who the people were in relation to me.

But, family search had just added a new feature which allowed people to add photos.  Oh, it was exciting.

Now, I knew what to do with those old photos gathering dust bunnies.

So, I added them to family search and

TOSSED THEM AWAY!

Today, I received this letter:

Hi Loni, this is Janene Marcum. My, how fun it was to have my sister, Sherell Raymond, call me and say it was you who posted that picture of our Mom, Jessie. She told you that we had never seen that photo, and we all fell in love with it. Mom had such ill health all her life, and here she was looking so young and vibrant. Thank you so much!




And, then she requested the original, which, of course, I no longer have!  I am heartsick for Janene and her sister.

How could I have done this stupid, stupid thing!  

So, it would seem that I clean out the important and keep the superfluous.  

Oh, I am sad tonite at my stupidity and carelessness.  

Here is the sad lesson I have learned:

NEVER THROW OUT PHOTOS!

I hope the sad lesson has been learned.




Mission Monday....

was not to be

for RAH and moi.

But, we will return on Tuesday as we enter the countdown phase.

Counting down.....

7.27.2013

Parade Goose Bumps

I love parades.

But, I wasn't really planning to go to this parade

UNTIL I read that the Army of Helaman the Stripling Warriors would be marching.

So, I decided to go.

I grabbed a grandchild and headed to the 24th of July Parade in Washington City.

And, it did not disappoint me.

In fact, it totally gave me GOOSEBUMPS!





And, then came the missionaries...another goosbumpy moment:


And, then came one of the 12 apostles; Elder Jeffrey R Holland.

Oh, yes, it was a goosebumpy kind of morning.

7.26.2013

What's the RUSH.....

....for everything in the FUTURE?



 Okay, so MAYBE you have to do back to school....

but HALLOWEEN?  I think NOT!
And, 2014?

 People, it's still JULY of 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, you disgusting marketers; it's no wonder we can't just enjoy each day...we are so consumed with looking forward to

T.O.M.O.R.R.O.W.!

7.24.2013

Loss of Agency

Agency is a gift for everyone, but sometimes, another person's personal choice takes away my choice.

Here are two examples:

John CHOOSES to go out and drink.  Driving home, he smacks into Jane causing her to be permanently paralyzed.  Through John's bad choice, Jane now has lost her chance to choose to: be a physician, be a mom, dance the night away. 

I know what Christians will say:  Well, Jane still has the CHOICE about how she will respond to this accident.  

 I'm not buying into that; her agency was taken away by the foolish CHOICE of another.

And, it's so unfair and harsh....she has lost her AGENCY!!!!!!!!!

Another example:

Tom CHOOSES to contribute to his company's 401K.  He faithfully puts in a portion of his hard-earned salary by his own CHOICE.  Upon retirement, his company - through many bad business CHOICES - goes bankrupt.  Tom's CHOICE of lifestyle is totally curtailed through no fault of his, but by the bad choice of his employers, which was totally out of his hands!

Again, someone will say - nauseatingly cheerfully - but Tom now has the choice on how to respond to this situation.   

But, in truth, he has NO CHOICE...he must live in abject poverty through NO CHOICE OF HIS OWN.

Life deals us many blows.  And, for some, AGENCY is lost - through no decision they have made, but by the choices others make.

 Unfair.  Sorrowful.  And, very very sad.




7.22.2013

Mission Monday

Sometimes I just wish we KNEW if anything we did actually makes a difference.

It's tough to hear the stories, see the people, feel their pain, and then never know what happens to them.

This has been a good experience - it has opened my eyes to the pain that is out there.

But, I've learned something about myself.  I'm NOT cut out for the sorrows of the world.

Give me a happy place.

And, that realization makes me pretty sad in and of itself.

Am I not fit for the kingdom if I can't see the sorrow?

Ah, well, too much thinking for today.

Moving on.....

An Evening With Kristi



Basically she has been studying for her Anesthesia boards - a grueling 8 hour test over what she has learned the past 8 years!  So, we try to leave her alone and let her concentrate.

But, we got a good deal on some tickets, so we went for a night out!

What a great event!  Perfect evening, perfectly delightful play, and perfect company!

Thanks, KRO, for taking the precious time out to spend an evening at Tuachan.

Mighty Change of Heart (NOT About Religion)


A couple of years ago, my neighbors spent a lot of money on a fad weight-loss program.  They - husband and wife - looked fantastic!  They each got an entire new wardrobe.  

Now, they are both back to what they were before the diet began; they are both large, particularly the wife.  They just didn't have the energy, will, disposition and DESIRE to really change their lifestyle and eating habits.


About a year ago, my friend, Andrea, hired an organizing guru to help her in her home.  She told me how helpful Riche had been in setting up a very messy, disorganized room.  She loved it.

Well, the house and Andrea's life are back to what it was before she spent the big bucks...totally disorganized, cluttered.  She just didn't have the energy, will, disposition, and most of all, the real DESIRE in her heart to change.

I can so relate to both of these scenarios.

You see, there are areas of my life that I really want to change.  But, I don't.

I don't have the energy, the will, the disposition, and the real DESIRE to make that leap of faith to ACTUALLY CHANGE in my heart.

It is not easy.  It takes energy, vigilance, determination, WORK, but most of all it takes a MIGHTY CHANGE OF HEART.  And, that is what most people are not willing to have happen.

Including moi.

7.20.2013

Scattered!

I'm always a tinge envious of families who live close by to each other:

Sunday get togethers, pool parties, 4th of July barbecues, game nights, grandkid sleep-overs.

Oh, yes, sounds idyllic, but, alas, tis not to be for MOI!

Our five and their many posterity are scattered; now more than ever with the recent move of our daughter from 25 minutes away to 8 hours away.

So, here's where they all live;

and IT'S ALL TOO FAR AWAY!

B & J - Las Cruces, NM
J & A - Provo, UT
J & C - San Diego, CA
K - Seattle, WA
J & J - Charlottesville, VA

Ah, yes, we are all very very

S.C.A.T.T.E.R.E.D!

7.19.2013

7.18.2013

I Hate Change...

...and unexpected bad news...

...and unexpected events...

I just want everything to stay the same, to work out, to be FINE.

But, life is not like that.

And, I'm not good at bad news, unexpected events, just CHANGE in general.

How the heck did I get so RIGID?!?!?!?!??!?!??!

Okay, time to move on now.

7.16.2013

A Fond Farewell

Today was the last day we will serve with Dennis and Kathy Peterson; two incredibly awesome missionaries:


Kathy is probably one of the most nurturing persons I have ever met.  She is truly a Christian person.  She helps many many older sisters in her ward.  They both serve as coordinators of church meetings at a nursing home.  She could be seen helping so many people at the center; people that others would not sit and work with.  She was first to clean up, set up, get birthday cards, arrange good-bye parties, etc.  Dennis is quiet, with such a low-key understated sense of humour.

Oh, I will miss them.

That is what I will miss most about our mission; the missionaries...all so very very very good.


And, speaking of missionaries, let's take a look at prayer meeting in the early morning hours:




And, what of these missionaries:

one has a brain tumour and a heart problem,
one is still working - a very busy wealthy businessman, but he wants to GIVE, so he serves two days a     week, even though he is very busy as a professional,
one loves to golf and goes several times a week,
one has many stomach issues and eats no breads, pastas, sweets, and very little fruits,
one makes quilts like some people make cookies - she just churns them out and they are beautiful,
one loves to fish,
one is very confident and just is determined to learn everything in the office,
one sold sewing machines for many years and was the top seller in the country,
one is a Democrat and is the only non-Obama basher in the office,

All so incredibly different; all so very committed to a cause; finding jobs for people.

All inspire me for various reasons.  All make me glad for this opportunity!

7.15.2013

Mission Monday

Five more Mondays.

Oh, I will miss the missionaries.

They are good.

I have seen them do so many extraordinary things....(my husband especially!)

The thing they do so well is LISTEN.

And, try so hard to help and find jobs.

It's not always a HAPPY place, but it is ALWAYS a GOOD PLACE!

7.14.2013

Perfect Description of MOI!


Ha! Ha!

Who Knew ME So Well that they could put my thoughts and attitudes into a great poster?



7.13.2013

Hard Work/Work Hard


I knew when Kro came, she would want to go exercise.  I also knew that she would encourage me and motivate me.  Right now, my arms are very sore; oh yes, SORE.

She is inspiring.

I need to work this hard all the time.

That would be good if I did.

7.12.2013

Rain on the Horizon....

because, you see, I washed the windows.

Oh yes, it's true.

Me and rain are TIGHT!

I almost always get it right.

Wash the windows and the rain just naturally follows.

Okay, Southern Utah, go ahead....thank me.

7.09.2013

Tuesday Trivia

Today was T.O.U.G.H.

So, to lighten it up, here's some trivia questions:

What missionary was gone because he was taking his missionary daughter to the MTC?
Elder Byrd

Who brought some yummy yummy home-made fudge?
Sister Crown

What job did a person have that no one has ever admitted to in our office before?
It's too indelicate to even say on a missionary blog, but it was true.. (Oh, yeah, it happened today...no details, thank you very much!)

Who actually was able to stick to a two-minute spiritual thought?
Elder L (totally unbelievable and out of character.  And, yes, it was indeed very spiritual!)

What missionary helped someone who had a felon, someone who had dropped out of high school, and someone who decided NOT to be a dancing sign?
Sister H (that's moi!)

What was the subject of today's training meeting?
The DI...wow, what an incredible, powerful program...


So, at the end of the day, what was realized?

I LOVE our church and its efforts to help 
all people strengthen themselves!

7.04.2013

Decisions

It's often hard for me to make good, wise decisions.

I'm not good at it.

Even though I try to think it all through....

Sometimes - lots of times - I don't always get things just right.

I'm always second guessing myself; should I - shouldn't I?

Some people know exactly what they want.

Like B & B; they decided they wanted a new car; they knew what they wanted and they will get it.

No second guessing, no looking back...just bold and decisive.  Go to the dealership, pay the cash, and drive home.  And not have regrets.

Oh, I wish that were me.

Happy 4th of July to America!

I love the 4th of July.

I love America!

I am eternally grateful for the blessing  of living in this great great land.



Happy 4th of July everyone!

7.02.2013

Keeping A RIght Perspective

He has a bachelor's degree; he has had good jobs; he is in his early 40's, and he's homeless.

I don't know why.  I don't know his back story.

BUT, it's good to think of him when I get discouraged about things in my life.

She is 69 and she has been in a wheelchair for 20 years, widowed for about 9 years, and now lives in a nursing home.

Today she said, "I am jealous of you..."  (speaking to allen and me about an upcoming long trip we have planned).  I was taken aback and didn't know what to say.

BUT, it's good to think of her when I get sad about my problems.

She lost her husband unexpectedly.  I see her at church events.  She goes and participates, but she is always alone.

SO, it's good to think of her when I feel lonely because my family is far away.

Sometimes the blessings are so plentiful and so very present.

AND, it's good to always give thanks because that helps keep a right perspective!






7.01.2013

Mission Monday

Six Weeks....it is going fast.

Aug 13 is our final day.

I will miss:
the Crowns,
Elder Byrd,
Elder Larkin,
the Petersons,
the Stingleys,
Randy Paterson,
the Tripps,
Sister Feyh,
Sister McMichael,
Elder Clayton,
and of course, more than words can express - DOUG MAINORD.

Today, an angry man literally STORMED out the door slamming it behind him.  The transient bishop suggested that he should WORK at the DI for the goods he was requesting....boy, he was MAD, MAD, MAD.

Another lady stormed out the front door when the bishop's wife told her that there were no more bus passes until the middle of July.  The lady was angry and said, "Well, what am I supposed to do...WALK?"  And, of course, she is referring to the triple digit heat which is such a killer.  I don't blame her for her outburst...heat makes us all a little crazy.

Homeless - several.
Job Seekers - many.
Gas and food seekers - many, many, many; no time for the bishop and his wife to even have lunch today.
Disgruntled ex-employees - one (he ranted and raved on the phone all morning long!)
Happy Helpful Missionaries - all of them.

And, so the Monday mission countdown begins....and I will miss it...dearly.