Sunday, January 27, 2013

Crazy waves

"If you please man and never please God, you have nothing; If you please God and man forsakes you, you have everything." -Dorothy Patterson

The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior's grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us."  Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions", Ensign, November 2012

"“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”- Laura Ingalls Wilder 
I love the ocean beaches, I feel I can talk with my Loving Heavenly Father when in nature, but that is not the only place to talk to him.  I keep a prayer in my heart constantly, for each of you, for my family, my friends, my coworkers, those with heavy hearts, I love you all!  Whenever I see an accident on the road, I pray for them and their family.
I went for a bike ride to the beach on post.  It looks over at the Seal Beach Pier.  The waves were doing crazy things-so pretty. I was looking through a chain link fence.  There are surfers out all through the year.

Yaaa, my companion has returned.  He was in Texas all week.  On Monday the mission president called me(two days after Lonnie left).  I guess we were suppose to stay together as a companionship.  oops!  Elder McOmber needed this special time with his sister.  I reassured the president that I was safe, after all we live on a military base.
This is the sign by the beach for the ships that are coming in.
There are armed guards at all the  entrances to the base, the MPs(military police) cruise around the base and campground regularly.  We know most of them personally as we have had some over for dinner, given others treats and see them at PT(physical training) in the mornings.  Lonnie will occasionally play volleyball with them.  We see them at the front gate sometimes multiple times a day.  There is a boat that patrols the waters constantly.  There are ground sensors by the entire exterior perimeter of base.  We are personal friends with both camp hosts and have one of their phone numbers programed into our phones.  We have wonderful neighbors and Peter was very good to check up on me every day.(His wife, Nancy,  had a valve in her  heart replaced a week and a half ago at UCLA medical center and they don't go out) I felt much more at home than if I had a sleep over with the "younger" sisters as he suggested.   I hope I didn't get him into trouble.  I can be quite stubborn at times. (noooo, not me?) I was able to do my job as a missionary whether I stayed at my "home" or went into the office.  I went in three days to work.
This is in the bay where the ships come to be loaded with mines and other weapons that are stored on base.  I was watching this pelican and there was something strange in the water.  It was a seal-yes, we live in Seal Beach, but I have never seen a seal here.  At first I thought the bird and seal were playing, but they were after the same fish.  I kept trying to get a picture of it, but it was too fast and kept underwater most of the time.
Another attempt to get a picture of him.  This is looking out through the bay(cove) toward the beach with the pacific ocean on the other side of the bar.
Elder McOmber had a wonderful time (if going to a funeral is "wonderful") .  He saw many relative and friends, many he had not seen in over 20 years.  He spent quality time with his sister and Aunt and even helped a very dear friend, Mottsenbacher, paint a car he is fixing up)  He has pictures, but i am going to have to post them next week as he has not gotten them to me yet.

We had another broken arm this week from p day--Boy, those P days can be rough for our missionaries.  Many missionaries have had colds and stomach bugs.  I am (and I am sure they are) ready for "winter" to be over.  It was high in the 60-80 degrees this week, but rained 4 days. (At night it goes down to 37-50 degrees.  Sorry for you Idahoans that have negative degree weather.)

"If we had no Winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."  ~Anne Bradstreet
Since I had a birthday this last week, I felt this appropriate.  Thank you for all the wishes and special gifts!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf titled Of Regrets and Resolutions states:  “…the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel at how short that road [of life] really is. We wonder how the years could have passed so quickly. And we begin to think about the choices we made and the things we have done. In the process, we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets—the things we wish we could go back and change.”  He lists three regrets or wishes of things that might have been done that are commonly expressed by people at end of life.
            1.      I Wish I Had Spent More Time with the People I Love

2.      I Wish I Had Lived Up to My Potential

3.      I Wish I Had Let Myself Be Happier

 Dr Doty of the missionary department sent this letter to all  mission medical personal:
I have been reminded of these three regrets and have given them some personal assessment.  I think these thoughts apply particularly to all of us serving as senior health care missionaries.  (1)  Those of you who are serving as married couples are with your husband or wife in a 24/7 assignment.  That is all good because this may be the first time in your married lives that you are together continuously.  All of you who are serving away from home have left your adult children and your grand-children behind.  I would suggest that you keep in touch by keeping a journal, adding some pictures as I have done in this newsletter, and sharing this information by email regularly with your loved ones.  You may also want to use email, VOIP, Skype, or other forms of technology to keep close to your families and friends.  (2)  I think that most of you would feel that you have lived up to your potential in a career of health care.  Now we are missionaries and we need to reach our potential of outstanding missionary service.  We all need to be great missionaries.  (3)  If you are not happy, do something about it.  I would not mean that you need to vent to your mission president or Area President.  I think for me it means a personal attitude adjustment because I know that the only person that I can control in this world is ME.  Do whatever you need to do to be happy and it often requires a big commitment to patience, long suffering, gentleness, kindness, and love.
Thank goodness for modern technology.  Quin had his birthday this week and I was able to skype the birthday party.  This is Stetson(almost 10 and Neli(17 months).  I also enjoyed talking to Daeden.  It is neat to stay in touch with  the family this way. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013


"Often when we pray for help with a significant matter, Heavenly Father will give us gentle promptings that require us to think, exercise faith, work, at times struggle, then act. It is a step-by-step process that enables us to discern inspired answers."  Richard G. Scott, "How to Pray and Seek Answers", New Era, July 2012

I can testify of the thinking, faith,  struggles, and work that goes into listening to the Holy Ghost and being able to act on the promptings!  We  have had that kind of a week.  I am eternally grateful for the promptings and being able to follow them.   I really need to work on honing my phone triaging skills.  When I get a call that is especially difficult from an elder or sister, I am praying the entire conversation that I get things right and ask the correct questions.  I have been able to pull up knowledge that has been stored in the back of my brain for sometimes a long time.  All my experiences with each of you, family, friends and coworkers(they are also my dearest friends) have helped me with the Elders and Sisters.  It is as if each of you are here on the mission with me.  Stiff neck-Marie at work, Migraines-Karen at work, and the list goes on, you have all helped me.  You never know when what you do or say may help someone down the road.  I want to thank my ER Nurse daughter, Amy Boodry,  for allowing me to pick her brain and refresh my memory when I want to know things like a "GI cocktail" and "what do you think about this or that?"  Thank you to each of you who have touched my life, for your friendship and your trials that have helped me on my mission.  All things in my life have led me to this particular spot and I want to do the best that I can!
"Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents."  Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions",  Ensign, October 2012
Elder Cicon crashed on his bike.  He dislocated and broke a bone into 5 pieces in his left wrist.  He had to have surgery to set it.   He is talking to his parents to let them know he is going to have surgery.  He gave me permission to  post it.  We , my assistant :) ( Elder McOmber) and I, spent several hours at the hospital.  It is Long Beach Memorial and I was very impressed with the hospital, big, modern and there was education everywhere.
A sister was having abdominal pain, took her to the nearest hospital(nearest to her apartment)-they only had 5 ER beds.  Some people had been waiting 6+ hours.  Thank goodness, our sister was taken in after only about an hour.  It did take until 2:30 in the morning to figure out what was going on--a kidney stone.  I sent another elder to Urgent care for flank pain, but we did not go with him.  He was diagnosed with gall bladder problems. Plus there have been many other phone calls.
  Even though I have been "retired" for 9 months, I still dream of delivering babies, crashing emergency c-sections and all my friends; nurses and Doctors, at work. Now this week I have spent many hours in two different hospitals, made me a little homesick.
Elder Cicon's companion, Elder Pickering, was awesome!  He was supportive and encouraging all the way and was worried about his companion getting down, because of the fall. He kept positive talk going. He has taken good care of him since surgery also!  He stayed with him, not getting any sleep, the night before surgery; a true disciple of Christ. They have semiprivate rooms and only chairs for family to sit in.
  Elder Cicon has very expressive eyebrows.
Some of Elders we have seen as we finished checking all the apartment.  Elder McOmber would sharpen  their knives and once slipped and needed a nurse.  He cut himself pretty good, thank goodness for durmabond. 
Cute quote from our Elders this week is:  "I thought that was part of the floor tile"  speaking of the dirt on the bathroom floor.  Elder McOmber showed them how to clean it, then he handed the scrubber to them to finish the job.
Elder Tolman carrying "stuff" in from Elder McOmber's shopping trip.
Now that the checking of the apartments are done for this round, Elder McOmber went shopping to get the "stuff" that they were missing in their apartments.  He also taught them how to care for the things in their apartment....  Don't throw it away if it will be good with a good scrubbing. "Use a little elbow grease".  This is our office....looks like Christmas.
Elder McOmber is showing the elders how to buff up the shine in their shoes with old nylons.  Some of them go "ooooooowwwww, gross", but he reassures them that they have been washed.
Friday was Elder Warburton's birthday.  Sister Rothschild made cupcakes and we had icecream.  We love parties!  An elder was doing a driver's test video in the background.
Elder Rothschild, Sister Warburton, Sister Rothschild, Sister and Elder Reynolds and Elder Squassabia singing Happy Birthday to Elder Warburton.  The Warburton's go home the end of this month, We will miss them!
Saturday, Janurary 19, 2013 Elder McOmber's biological father, WR Tate, died.  This picture is from November 2010 when we visited him in Waco, TX.  This is Elder Lonnie McOmber, his sister, Pat Ledbetter, her granddaughter, Avery, and
 William R Tate.  Elder McOmber was adopted by Fred McOmber, his mother's 2nd husband.  Elder McOmber has gone to Waco, TX to support his sister, they are not sure if the other two sibling will make it.  Lonnie's twin, Ronnie is in Iraq and Robert lives in Houston area.
"Yes, this life is passing swiftly; our days seem to fade quickly; and death appears frightening at times. Nevertheless, our spirit will continue to live and will one day be united with our resurrected body to receive immortal glory. I bear solemn witness that because of the merciful Christ, we will all live again and forever."   Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions",Ensign, October 2012

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Keep on keeping on.

 Elder and his footed pajamas.
"So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment."Thomas S. Monson, "Living the Abundance Life", Ensign, January 2012
Sorry it will not let me import it the right way--smile, you get to turn sideways to read this. Thanks Chad, this goes right along with our blog this week.

I have put a lot of pressure on Elder McOmber, but he is so patient with me.  This week we have continued to inspect Elders' and Sisters' apartments.  It is a fun job, but I am always saying, time to go.....and it doesn't mean that he comes with me right then.  The biggest problem is that I schedule the appointments every 1/2 hour including travel time.  Elder McOmber loves to teach and talk--you all know that.  Sometimes it is hard to keep him on track. We don't want to take too much time away from the Work the Elders and Sisters are doing.   We are doing one zone each day.  Tuesday was our hardest day with 12 apartments in Whittier, the furthermost part of our mission.  We could not stay on schedule, thank goodness the Elders and Sisters are very forgiving.  I could see that we were running behind and texted them so they could keep on working. (I love modern technology!) The elders sometimes need a ride as we have taken up their travel time with our inspections.  We made it.  We have completed 58 of the 73 apartments.  We will finish this round of checks this week.
 Elder McOmber has taught that the blue Windex takes spots off of the carpet
I teach  "Make Minutes Matter".  If they have 5 minutes, they can get one or two spots up.  They do not have to eat the whole elephant (all the spots on their floor) at once. 
Elder Ulu is standing on a chair.  Elder Hjorth is really taller.  These are just a couple of our happy elders.  They make me smile. 
One Elder called me this week and said that he set off the smoke/carbon monoxide detector when he went to the bathroom.  I laughed so hard.  I told him to reset it and if it did not go off again, it had to be him setting it off.

Elder McOmber also teaches how to take care of Teflon pans, too many are being ruined because they do not know how to cook and wash them.  It is good that they are cooking!  He also discussed how to wash their clothes: whites vs colors, how to keep shirts white.  He checks their vacuums and teaches how to clean the filters.  They are all receptive to his teaching.  It is amazing how word gets around also, by the end of the day the vacuums are cleaned out before we get there-they have a system of passing on information to each other. 
I check on their health.  There has been many sick with a stomach bug and cold.  This last P day was very hard on everybody--many rolled ankles, hurt knees.  We had a couple of bike accidents and there was one broken arm that the cast came off this week.  We took 3 pair of crutches out this week, 2 P day and 1 bike accident.  I do teaching also  I believe in preventative medicine. 

Today was our P day.  Lonnie and I went to Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles.  Veteran got in free.  It is so nice that so many businesses recognize the sacrifice that being in the military has been.

Lonnie loved all the old western shows'  memorabilia.  There were many guns also.  He was in heaven.
The original clothes of the Lone Ranger.  We watched that show every week as kids.

This was a movie simulation for kids, there were none around so I made Lonnie get on the saddle and took pictures of the TV screen of him "riding" with the cowboys. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture of him with  John Wayne.
Out side the museum, there were Indian dancers practicing for a show they are preforming  tomorrow.  It was impressive watching them.
They did a winding snake dance like the Posse does with horses.
We are blessed on our mission, even though everything does not go like we want or plan.  I am thankful that the Lord is in charge and knows what is best for us.  He knows we are trying our hardest.  We pray for our family--we miss you so much. 
Here is a recipe that is super easy.  I made it for Christmas and Lonnie would not let me put it on the plates of goodies (yes, I gave in and made a few--not 50 plates like at home. and they were smaller).  He likes them so much, I made him another batch today and he got into them before I could cut and wrap the pieces.

1 cup Butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Melt butter, mix in sugars and milk, stir.  Microwave on high for 13 minutes.  Remove, stir, pour into 9x13" pan that has been greased(Pam spray OK).  Cool in fridge, Cut into bite size pieces, wrap in wax paper.   Very easy!!
Love You All!!!!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

High Tide/Low Tide

You can see the white heron in the middle of the marsh at high tide.  Our motor home is the one facing you by the tree.

Living here in Seal Beach, we notice the tide changes.  We wanted to learn a little more about the tides.  It has been interesting, living by the salt marsh wet lands.  Some times water completely covers the wetlands and other times, it looks like you could walk through the marshes.  Here is some things we have learned about the tides:

This is usually marsh grass with some small canals of water going through.  Yes, that is several oil rigs in the middle of the salt marshes.
When Tide is high enough, the rowers from the collage practice in a canal. Cal State is just down the street from our office.
  •  Tides are the way the sea rises a little then falls back every 12 hours or so.
  • When the tide is flowing it is rising. When the tide is ebbing it is falling.
  • Tides are caused by the pull of gravity between the Earth, Moon and Sun.
  • The mutual pull of the Moon’s and the Earth’s gravity stretches the Earth into an egg shape.
  • The solid Earth is so rigid that it stretches only 20 cm.
  • Ocean waters can flow freely over the Earth to create two tidal bulges (high tides) of water. One bulge is directly under the Moon, the other is on the far side of the Earth.
  • At high tide, the sea rises up the shore and dumps seaweed, shells and drift wood. Most coasts have two high tides and two low tides every day.
  • As the Earth rotates every 24 hours the tidal bulges stay in the same place under the Moon. Each place on the ocean has high tide twice a day. The Moon is moving as well as the Earth, making high tides occur not once every 12 hours but once every 12 hours 25 minutes.
  • The continents get in the way, making the tidal bulges slosh about in a complex way. As a result the timing and height of tides vary enormously. In the open ocean tides rise only 1 m or so, but in enclosed spaces such as the Bay of Fundy, in Nova Scotia, Canada they rise over 15 m.
  • The Sun is much farther away than the Moon, but it is so big that its gravity has an effect on the tides.
  • The Moon and the Sun line up at a Full and a New Moon, creating high spring tides twice a month. When the Moon and Sun pull at right angles at a Half Moon, they cause neap tides which are lower than normal tides.
  • Neap tides occur when the Sun and Moon are at right angles to each other and pulling in different directions.
  • Spring tides occur when the Sun and the Moon are lined up and pulling together. High tides happen at the same time each day on opposite sides of the Earth Oceans Tides.

  •  Sometimes our emotions do the same thing as the tide; they ebb and flow.  Satan would love to have us get down(be at a low).   Just when I am at a low point, someone or something pulls me up.  I was struggling with my emotions; after holiday "blahs", computer problems, etc.  and an Elder called me, the first thing he told me is that he and his companion are teaching a lady and she sounds "golden".  She, in 3 days, has read more than 60 pages in the Book of Mormon, knows it is from God and has a date set for baptism. She practically taught the Elders the plan of salvation.   I needed to hear that.  ...Then he asked me a medical question.  He had taken care of the problem, but just needed reassurance, just as I needed reassurance.  The Lord takes care of us.  We also got a letter in the mail from a neighbor in Idaho.  It was very unexpected and very uplifting.  Again, the Lord takes care of his children and is aware of our every need.  I was questioning in my mind what to do with a medical problem that a sister had.  As I was praying and reading scriptures, the scripture "Look to God with firmness of mind and pray unto him with exceeding faith..."  Jacob 3:1  It said to me at that time, "you have knowledge as a nurse, use it and have faith in what you know." 
    A coyote walking past the geese--does he see dinner?
    "When you are faced with a test of faith, stay within the safety and security of the household of God. There is always a place for you here. No trial is so large we can't overcome it together."Neil L. Andersen, "Trial of Your Faith",  Ensign, October 2012

    I like the one white goose.  It is OK to be different.  Wonder if any of these geese are from Idaho Falls?
    This week, we had another visitor that we had not seen in a long time.  Lonnie's best friend growing up, died about 1 1/2 years ago.  We have kept in touch with his wife.  She and two of her daughters, a spouse and children and an 11 year old son came to visit and it was fun to hear the stories of when Mike and Lonnie got in trouble as youth.  (He will be the first to admit that he was very good at getting in trouble, even if he was innocent, he "looked" guilty.)
    Terry Murray and part of her family.  We miss Mike also!
         This week Lonnie and I have been inspecting apartments.  Elder McOmber is teaching how to spot clean carpets with Windex, how to keep their white shirts white along with how to cut your scrub pads in two to make them last twice as long and anything else he sees that would help the Elders and Sisters in their apartments.  We check for cleanliness.  They all want to get a certificate for having the cleanest apartments.  We take brownies and a card that has smarties taped on that says "Smarties keep their apartments clean", with two quotes from prophets about cleanliness on the back.  We inspected 16 of the 73 apartments last Thursday and Friday.  Doing the rest the next two weeks.  I have some pictures now, and will post some next week.
    These are in action photos, not staged.  This is how it really looks.  I sometimes have trouble keeping Elder McOmber on track, he loves the Elders and Sisters and would spend all day teaching one set.  We usually have 6-12 apartments per day.
    We stopped for lunch one day at a park, a bird hopped right up and wanted to socialize with Elder McOmber.
    This poor little girl was trying to feed the geese and ducks, she was attacked by hundreds.

         I think I figured out what my problems was with this blogspot program.  It can only hold so many pictures and I had reached my max.  I have found one way to get around it, hope it keeps working.  I should be able to sleep like this cutie tonight now that I have figured this out.  Just need to remember how I did it!
    Neli sleeping. 
    Love Avri's pants!!!!

    Sunday, January 6, 2013

    Please Stand by

    Sorry, having technical difficulties.  Please stand by as I am trying to correct the problem.  Computers ---- -  AGHHHHHHH!!  Can't live with them, can't live without them.