Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hapy New Year!

"Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives."Thomas S. Monson, "Consider the Blessings", Ensign, November 2012
     This week has been full!  I know that our Heavenly Father listens to our prayers!  Several of our children have been sick,some very scary things with a couple of them.  I have prayed with all my heart and I know that the Lord has heard my prayers.   On each account, things could have been so much worse, but thankfully none were life threatening in the end.  They are still not completely whole, but are on the mend.  It is hard being the "nurse Mom" and not being able to be there to help.  I guess they are being prepared for if I get Alzheimer's and can't take care of them later.  :)

Chandler, Colton, Caleb and Annalea on Christmas morning.
     I am thankful that we can do my part of our mission from almost anywhere.  Most of what I do is on the phone and computer.  The President wants family to visit us so that we can tell other SR couples how great missions are, hoping they will want to go also.  We were able to go to San Diego for Christmas eve and day.  It was fun being around the kids.  Caleb, age 2, was happy with the first present he opened, but then at the end of the day, he asked if there were any more presents to open.
Gammy and Annalea
Papa and Caleb
Jim, Bonnie, Chad, Kathy and Lonnie
Jim and Bonnie are Chad's Aunt and Uncle and Bonnie is like a sister to me.
They stopped in to Chad's house for a visit.
April, Her daughter, Jim, Bonnie, Christine, Allen and their kids.
Bonnie, Jim and I have been friends for 40 years, but have only seen each other 2-3 times in all those years.  It is  like
we have never been apart when we do get together.  They live in Illinois now.  Wish we could spend more time together.  Maybe someday.

       My brother, Bill Bailey,  got to our place at 0145 Thursday morning.  He rested a short time and then worked with us, helping with the mission work.
Bill helped Elder McOmber move furniture that was donated to the mission and fix a bicycle for some sisters.
By going with us he was able to see a lot of our mission area.
Bill and I at Signal Hill.  It was the nicest day I have ever been there.  You could see all around, no smog/fog.  It was windy and a little chilly for me, but better than the snow blizzards he  left in Salt Lake City.  Signal Hill is near the storage building that they stored the furniture in.  We stopped for lunch.
Looking down on the docks at Long Beach.  Catalina Island in background.
We could see Seal Beach and Huntington Beach on this day.
That is Bill under the whale.  After work, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific, the 4th largest aquarium in the world.  It was fun to see all the different species of fish and animals.  Lonnie is under the tail.
After the Aquarium, we walked around the parks near the Aquarium in Downtown Long Beach.  Chad drove his motorcycle up from San Diego to spend  Friday with us. This picture reminds me of this quote:

There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, 'This way to safety. This way to home.' It sends forth signals of light easily seen and never failing. If followed, those signals will guide you back to your heavenly home."
Thomas S. Monson, "Believe, Obey, and Endure",  Ensign, November 2012
This next picture has Bill walking to the lighthouse and that is the full moon coming up on the right of the lighthouse.
Bill, Chad and I spent Friday together.  They both left in the evening Friday.  Bill drove to San Diego to visit Chad and Am's home.  Chad was going to take him to pet the dolphins at his work and they were going to go to a car show together.  Bill had a fast trip-11 hours drive each way for a 3 day visit.  We were glad to see him and show him around.
Chad is "Mr October".  His work made a calendar(and I couldn't get one-they ran out).  This is him with a dolphin having a pet scan .  It is an awesome calendar showing all the Marine mammals that he works with.
      With all this going on, I was able to continue to do my mission work.  I received many calls--there is a lot of sickness-mostly colds, but a few other things to make it interesting and I even had time to do my charting.  Chad liked reminding me of things for the Elders and Sisters to try to get better.  He would like to be able to tell them that I was  much meaner to him as a mother than I am to these missionaries, but he wants to do it in Zone Conference so they all can know how mean I was.
      It has been a wild week, but time to get back to doing what we are called to do, what the Lord wants here in Long Beach to do....Serve Him!
     Have a blessed New Year Holiday and God bless you all year long!  I Love You!!!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

"This joyful season brings to all of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree to which we have turned our minds, feelings, and actions to the Savior, whose birth we celebrate."
     My favorite movie is "Fiddler on the Roof".  Tevye has a problem with his daughters not following the traditions of the Jews in their choices of marriage.  Times change, and sometimes change is hard.  For two years we are changing our traditions. 
     Christmas is a time for family traditions.  But like in the movie, times are changing.  We are missing one of our favorite Christmas traditions: our family party.  I hope the kids are playing our games.  The good thing is that I have a new game that I know they will all love.  It will be so much fun when we get home.  The games we are missing is the cracker/bubble gum game--chew a cracker then see how fast you can blow a bubble with bubble gum. Sterling seems to win that one.  Another game is a present stealing game.  They like that one, and there are always surprises, like mice for Sara or a tutu for Jody.  The kids wrap an adult of their choice up like a present, then we vote for who is the cutest present.  We have great food-the last couple of years has been finger foods, but WOW there is always a lot and it is so good!
This house looked like a gingerbread house.  It faces the Pacific Ocean. 
Another tradition I have is to drive around and look at Christmas lights.
Lonnie kept another tradition alive by singing to me in the car--I have a cold
and could not sing.  My kids grew up singing Christmas Carols in the car; we even
made up our own songs.
After work we took the long way home and went and looked at Christmas lights.  Newport Beach was beautiful with all the yachts with Christmas lights cruising around.  This is a bridge in Long Beach.
I could not get very good pictures.  It was much more beautiful than in these pics.
Downtown Long Beach
In a park by the ocean, looking at Long Beach-you can see the sky scrapers.
     One new tradition for two years is the Zone Conference Half Mission Christmas Party(two of them, one for each half).  It was a very spiritual presentation.  I am so impressed with the spiritual maturity of our Elders and Sisters.  We met and had lessons on the Attributes of Christ that we can emulate, done by different elders.  The Elders and Sisters shared traditions that were meaningful to them.  We watched the first Presidency Christmas Broadcast, had a wonderful dinner provided by the Stake. 
One half of our mission,  eating lunch.
Everyone brought a white elephant present and we went right or left according to a story President Bubert read.
This is our whole mission.
     We then listened to the Christmas story and "Jesus the Christ" and sang many wonderful Christmas Hymns.  This is the real meaning of Christmas, being thankful for Christ and His Atonement.
     Another traditions I have been able to keep is to make divinity, Lonnie's favorite.  We will be able to visit Chad,  Amy and family for Christmas day-so we will be able to be around family for Christmas. It is special as Chad is in the military, and we have not ever been able to be at his home for Christmas before.  Chad would like some divinity also.  I was going to make chocolate fudge, but I waited too long and all the stores are sold out of marshmallow fluff, so no fudge.  I did make carmels. 

Our tomatoes are still blossoming.

And producing--Christmas and tomatoes on our bushes, huh.
And our rose bushes are still blooming!
I was thinking it was cold this week when we walked to exercise.  It was 44 degrees.  Then checked Rigby temperature on my phone and it was 14.  I guess it was not so cold.  Today was beautiful-up to 66 degrees. 
     We wish you all a very Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

Elder McOmber by the office Christmas tree with a bike for a
new elder coming in Tuesday.

This is for all my cowgirls and cowboys in Idaho and everywhere. 
The Los Angeles Temple has Nativities from all over the world. 

     This week has been a very difficult.  It's Christmas time, you can see it everywhere.  Our hearts want to be home.  Jami has been in the hospital with some unknown problem.  She hurts and I would love to be there to hold and hug my baby(She's 31, but still my baby).  Quin(age 3) had to have surgery this week, again, and Sara has been sick, again I want to hold and hug my babies(she is older than Jami, but still my baby).  Chad, my first baby; I was able to hug him(I'll tell you later), something he and I needed.  Lonnie has had a difficult week with his arthritis, I have been able to hug him too. The senseless killings of children in Connecticut breaks our hearts for the families, community and our country.  Again I want to hold and hug ALL my family. We have been promised blessings for our families for serving the Lord(We have not been promised the easy way).  I am relying on those promised blessings.
      This video touched my troubled heart and comforted me.  It is how I have felt many times in my life and how feel now. 
We were able to go to the Los Angeles Temple (3 times in one week, that should help my goal of once a month).  I can not think of a better place to be at this Christmas time.  Some Elders asked us to take them.  I always receive calls from our elders and sisters while in the temple, I just step out after we are finished and return their calls.  It is a 35 minute drive in good traffic.  It is interesting to get to know the different personalities while riding in the car.  Some elders love talking cars and guns, others share testimonies and spiritual experiences.  They are all wonderful Elders(we have not taken sisters to the Temple yet).

"Even the stop lights blink a bright red and green".  I love Christmas
Music and have been known to listen to it in July.  We have 7 1/2 miles
to church and 25 stop lights.  We have 5 miles to work and 16 stop lights. 
Many times that is faster than the expressways.  That is California.
            Chad and boys were able to come up from San Diego on Friday night.  Chandler got sick on Friday on the way up, threw up out the window, all over Chad's truck.  Saturday, Colton did not feel good and threw up out the window, all over Chad's truck.  The boys felt better once they threw up, but we took the truck to work and washed it off.  Of course it turned into a water fight.

Colton, Chandler and Caleb
Caleb loved riding his bike in the water--his father's son.


We were able to go to Knottsberry Farm with Chad and kids. This month Active Duty and  Veterans and one guest can get in free, so all 7 of us got in free(Caleb was free as he was under 3).  We had a nice time.  Chad took turns riding one special ride with each of us.  He liked the "big kid" roller coasters, but was patient with all of us and rode the stage coach for Papa, Cars with Caleb, mining with the boys and he saw the ice skating show with me.
Yes, Chad fit, amazingly.  Caleb is next to him, you can see his face.
Annalea and Colton following right behind.
Snoopy on Ice--Very nice.
Annalea, Papa, Gammy, Caleb, Colton, Chad, Chandler
We wore Caleb out. He rode many rides.  Here we are waiting while Chad and Annalea
did the Ghost town rider.  This is what life is all about--holding family in our arms and hearts.
Sister McOmber in her office. I have to do computer work. Yes charting even on a mission.
The elders wanted Elder McOmber to play basketball, but they were
easy with him.  It was not this that caused problems with his arthritis.
It has rained several days this week.
  Thursdays are District meetings; here is one district.  All our missionaries are our favorites and our family for now. 
Yes it is Christmas, even though there are flowers blooming everywhere.
"Christmas is a time for remembering the Son of God and renewing our determination to take upon us His name. It is a time to reassess our lives and examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Let this be a time of remembrance, of gratitude, and a time of forgiveness. Let it be a time to ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its meaning for each of us personally. Let it especially be a time of renewal and recommitment to live by the word of God and to obey His commandments. By doing this, we honor Him far more than we ever could with lights, gifts, or parties."                          Dieter F. Uchtdorf          
                              "Seeing Christmas through New Eyes", 2010 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2010 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Elder McOmber's Birthday Plus

Saturday was Elder McOmber's birthday.  We took 3 Elders to the Los Angeles Temple for a session and a sealing for someone in their ward.  It was very spiritual for me.  We went into the visitor's center first and a movie about families being eternal touched my heart.  Of coarse, seeing a movie about grandparents having fun with their grand kids is very tender to my heart.  Then we attended a Spanish session and the sealing was for a couple that spoke no English.  The sealer did not speak Spanish so one of our Elders was able to intrepret for the Sealer.   I again cried when the children (ages 8 months and 4 years)were brought in for sealing to their parents.  They were beautiful! (I did not even know these people, but we all felt  felt the spirit).  Our Elders were able to talk to the Photographer that was waiting outside.  He is really interested in the church and what happens at the Temple.  They got his address and phone number.  This picture was taken  in the LA visitor Center.  They also had a display of nativity scenes from around the world that was awesome in the visitor center.
Our elders looking at some of the Nativity scenes from around the world

'If ye love me, keep my commandments,' Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord."

The middle Brother baptised the couple who were sealed about 3 years ago.  He is now a student at BYU and flew over to be with the couple at their sealing.  Our elders found they were in a direct line of trainers.  Brother Schloffman(sp?) (middle) trained Elder Orr who trained Elder Stott who trained Elder Alexander who trained Elder Sheanshang(left) who trained Elder Manning(right).  They said that the middle guy was their Great, great, great grandfather and 4 greats grandfather,  these guys are so funny!
Speaking of funny, they are goofing around with the birthday guy.
     We have met ourselves coming and going this week. (we stayed very busy).  Monday we sent a missionary home for medical reasons and my AMA, Dr Peterson, flew with him and turned around and flew back.  We picked him up at the airport and his flight  was a little late.  As we walked around, a lady holding a baby came up to us and asked Elder McOmber for a blessing as she was flying with her small baby to Alaska to meet up with her military husband.  Such a nice opportunity to serve.  The Dr was able to share the Book of Mormon with a lady on the plane and got her address for the missionaries to visit.  There are opportunities everywhere.    
     The WORD IS OUT, the Elders know we will drive them to the Temple.  We drove some on Tuesday for the 5:30 session.  I have never been in such a full session where I knew most of the people.  I felt like that is what Heaven will be like--my heart sang "rejoice, rejoice", it was so special.
     We drove the elders today and we have been asked to take more elders to the Temple this next Tuesday.  I said we would only do it for the 5:30 session as I have my missionary calling to do and there are usually many phone calls in the AM.

Getting to the LA Temple at 0500, the Christmas lights were beautiful.
Some of our Elders and Sisters
at the LA Temple-they all love to take pictures when we are done with our session.  Sister Cifuentes in the middle is going home in a couple of weeks to Guatamala.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we had Zone Conferences.  We only have them every 12 weeks, so it is fun to see them all together.  I do a 20-25 minute power point presentation on a medical concern.  I talked this time about colds.  It is obviously winter, not by the weather, but by the number of Elders and Sisters that are sick with a cold.  I enjoy the missionary training that they give and the scriptural instruction that is given.  I am amazed at the knowledgable and talented Elders and Sisters that we serve with.  They are excellent teachers.   I listen to it more than once as I learn something new each time.  Wish I could remember better.  At the end of the day, on two of the days, our AMA(Area Medical Advisor-the Dr over me) consults with any Elder or Sister that would like to talk to him.  There usually are a couple of hours of consulting that he does.  I soooooo appreciate him and his wife!
Sister and Elder Peterson with me at the luncheon during Zone Conference.
      We had our Ward's Elders and Sisters over to our home for dinner on Wednesday night.  Luckily I had some of the dinner started before or else it would never had finished in time after Zone Conference.  We had chicken and dumplings, rolls, brownies and homemade ice cream-Elder McOmber's speciality.
Some of our Elders and Sisters.  The Wards provide lunch at Zone Conference.  They all sing to the providers to thank them.

Tonight Our ward had it's Christmas dinner and program. 
Sister Jessop and Sister Bradshaw at our Ward Christmas Party.
It was wonderful because we did not have time to eat today.  Just don't go
grocery shopping when you are hungry-you always buy more.

Elder McOmber with his Christmas Birthday tie from Maci, Avri, Quin, and Neli(Sara and Glen also)  He now loves ties.  He loves showing off his "Donald Trump" tie he found in the middle of the road.  I was with him and he turned around and went back and picked it up out of the middle of the road.  I can only imagine why it ended up in there, but Lonnie is very proud of it.  He has to have a tie to match whatever outfit  I am wearing each day.

      It is so wonderful to stay busy doing the Lord's work.  What a "happy tired" we are at the end of each day.