Saturday, November 30, 2013


"A subtle but significant blessing we receive is the spiritual gift of gratitude that enables our appreciation for what we have to constrain desires for what we want. A grateful person is rich in contentment. An ungrateful person suffers in the poverty of endless discontentment."            David A. Bednar, "The Windows of Heaven"

I love to see my glass as half full, rather than half empty,  At church last Sunday, a speaker said we would have a list that would go from the podium to the floor of things we are thankful for, I think my list would go around the chapel a few times.  There are so many things that I am grateful for!!!!  Each day is a gift, I hate to waste any time.  There is so much life to live.
I am thankful for even the struggles in life because every thing is a gift!

Ronnie and Lonnie McOmber
For Thanksgiving we were invited to Lonnie's twin brother's home.  It should take us 1 1/2 hours to get to his home, but it took us 3 hours because California traffic.  We thought everyone should be eating in the middle of the day, but no, everyone was out driving.
Mary and Ronnie McOmber
They would not let us take anything to help with the meal.  I decided to make this wall hanging for them.  They love birds, birdhouses, and sunflowers.  It is applique and quilting.  It was fun and relaxing for me to make.
Elder Sturgell(middle) has completed 2 years at West Point, but withdrew to go on a mission(Cambodian speaking).  He plans on reapplying and he said that they love the Mormon Missionaries when they come back. He needed a PT test and he needed an officer or NCO to sign off for his PT test.  Elder McOmber brought him and his companion to base for the PT test.
It was not the normal PT test, we had to figure out what he needed to do and the timing he needed to do.

Elder McOmber encouraging them at the end of the run.
Wade (Elder) Tolman brought his family to show them around the mission, He went home this last summer.   It was good to see him, he was one of our favorite missionaries, ....... weeeeelllllll, they all are our favorites.
Our Elders at our ward.  Elder McOmber always checks to make sure they are locking up their bikes correctly.
Sister McOmber and some of  our sisters.  
Elder McOmber went to an apartment to check for "bugs".  We were afraid they were bed bugs, but they ended up being fleas.  We sprayed and Elder McOmber taught them about their stove and cleaning.  This is as we are leaving,  He continues to take every opportunity to teach.
Only 2 more chemo treatments left to do--yaaa!  This one on Friday was not as bad as the last one.  I think they must have given me less benedryl as I did not pass out as bad this time.  
I like this and decided to share it with you!  I have been the recipient of many special messages and thoughtful actions and I appreciate each and every one of them.  I appreciate you, my family and friends.

Twinkies and Root Beer

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies and a six-pack of Root Beer and he started his journey.          

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an elderly man. The man was sitting in the park just feeding some pigeons. 
The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie. 

The man gratefully accepted it and smiled at boy. His smile was so pleasant that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered him a root beer.
Again, the man smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As it grew dark, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave, but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the man, and gave him a hug. The man gave him his biggest smile ever.
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?

"He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? God's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the elderly man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked," Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"
He replied, "I ate Twinkies in the park with God." However, before his son responded, he added," You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Embrace all equally!
~author unknown~

And .......Thanks for touching my life!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Awesome week!

" ....He(the Lord) will assist us in our labors if we will act in faith to fulfill His work."  President Monson

The seasons are changing, there are leaves blowing on the ground and there are geese heading south (here).  This week we had a General Authority here to talk to us.  It was wonderful--keep reading to know more, He said we all must have been living right in the preexistence to be assigned here in California Long Beach for a mission.  (The best mission in the world!).   It was rainy and cloudy most of the week, a rare event here.  I love hearing the rain on the roof of our motor home, it is so relaxing.  I know this is where the Lord wanted us when we first received our assignment, but throughout our mission, it has become even more apparent.  
     It was transfer week.  Lonnie and I were talking about how we might make the transition better.  He seems to be in great demand and there is "some" chaos.  Everyone needs his attention all at the same time. He works from early morning to late night, as well as his P day, to try to meet every one's needs. Our Assistants to the President (AP's) are awesome and we are all working on this, then I told Lonnie that there are only going to be 2 more transfers that we will be here for......amazing.
      We had 15 go home this transfer and only received 10 new missionaries and no visa waiters.  It was the smallest number we have had in several transfers (since the announcements about age changes a year ago.)  We now have   261 missionaries.
Some of our "newest" missionaries, one from Tonga, one from Vietnam(but has lived in the US.) and one from Hawaii.  Another one is a US citizen, but had been adopted from Russia at the age of 2.  It is fun visiting with them.
Some of our "older" missionaries--seem to be more relaxed.
Greeting their trainers.  One elder said he has waited his whole life to meet his trainer.  
I meet with all new missionaries to talk about their health and to tell them to DRINK WATER(smile).  This is in our office.  Southern California has excellent medical care, so often those needing medical help are sent to Southern California.  It helps me to know if they will need  to see a Dr or if they are on medication, etc.  It is a great opportunity to meet and greet all the new missionaries.
Elder McOmber helps them with their bicycles and loves teaching them about many things.
Elder McOmber enlisted help form Elder Williams.  He is putting the new bikes together, notice two supervisors.
I like the look of the apron.  That is Elder McOmber's side of the office, full of tools, papers, bike parts, etc.
As I mentioned earlier, we had Elder and Sister Packer of the Seventy come and give zone conferences two days.  They are wonderful speakers and I loved listening(I only went on Friday).  
     Sister Packer talked about the power that was in the room with 1/2 of our missionaries.  I agree, I loved listening to them sing, so heartfelt and rich sounding!  She talked about teaching with the Spirit and how the missionaries do the teaching, but the Spirit converts  She said ways to keep the spirit is to:  1. Fix companionships   2.  Keep their apartments clean--YAAAA, 3.  Don't let the little things trip you up, 4. Be exactly obedient 5.How to use family history to help with the spirit in teaching.   She told us all we should do something different tomorrow because of the zone conference.  I have a list of things that I need to improve on.
     Elder Packer took up most of the time and was impressive, as I don't remember him ever looking at any notes.  He taught about 4-5 hours.  I have a page of notes that I will not share all, but I would like to share a couple.  He said he was walking in the halls of Church Headquarters and one of the apostles (I don't remember which one) asked him if he was learning a new language  He thought it might be a hint at a new assignment, and asked if he should learn a particular language(The apostle knew he spoke English and Spanish).  But the apostle said "No, just choose one".  He said when the apostles speak, listen.  He and his wife discussed it and are working on Portuguese.  They were able to share their testimonies in Brazil 3 weeks ago.
     Another thing that impressed me was:  He talked about the Work of Salvation being like our passport to travel to another country. We have to make sure all our credentials are in order to be allowed into another country.  We have to have our passport and visas, travel plans, etc.  We are here on earth to gather all our credentials so that we may be allowed into our Father in Heaven's presence.
     He also talked about the changes happening in the work missionaries do, not "missionary work".  The home is the new MTC.
     There was so much good I can not include it all.  I loved and soaked up all the information.  He also emphasized Family History and incorporating it into the work missionaries do.
After the conference, some elders had a dead battery(they were late and forgot and left their lights on).  They wanted Elder McOmber, but he was not there, but I had jumper cables and was able to be a good substitute.

After Zone conference

This week seems to have been better for me.  Maybe the new chemo drug is not as debilitating as the first 4 treatments were.  Whatever the cause, I am very thankful.  It also helps to do service.  It takes your mind off your own problems and you realize everyone has problems--we are here on earth to learn and help each other.  I am thankful for our opportunity to serve!
[The Lord] will sanctify your [missionary] efforts, and you will gain a capacity beyond your own to lift and bless the lives of others."
”Thomas S. Monson, "Faith in the Work of Salvation"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friendship and good examples

" the gospel and being true to gospel principles is the key to true, lasting, triumphant friendship. ....  Real Friendship   
Monday we had a farewell dinner  at Sister and  President Tew's  home for the Reynolds who have finished their service mission.  They have become dear friends.  We have learned so much from them.  They are such saints.  I read a scripture this week that reminded me of two people...
Sister Kathryn McLain  my neighbor from home and Sister Mariann Reynolds.
They both set examples that follow the Savior.

Alma 4:13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
and Moroni 7:45-48 on Charity.
They both show the pure love of Christ through their actions.
Their daughter, Amy, has also taught me much.  She wrote this poem and I like it so much I thought I would share it with you.  Amy is 38 years old and has downs syndrome and is always so giving.  I will miss her daily hugs when I get to the office.

Amy Reynolds

We had a banquet..  All the Senior couples and the AP's and one set of sisters.
The sisters helped with the dinner.
Last week Lonnie used a punch that was given to us by a friend at the VA.  It is a breast cancer awareness punch.   He punched this leaf  last week and it was still on the tree this week,  A man excitedly wanted to show us this really neat  thing....the leaf.  He had to take a picture also.  Lonnie told him that he had done it last week.
Elder McOmber spends much time fixing bikes and teaching the Elders.
This week is our 20th Anniversary.  Because I got chemo this Friday and I an not sure how I will feel, we decided to go out to eat this Thursday for lunch at Joe's Crab Shack.  We love sea food.  We shared a pot of Lobster, shrimp, sausage, crab, corn on the cob and potatoes.  We shared a peach cobbler with real  Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert.  He tried to talk them into selling him a bucket of the Blue Bell(his favorite kind of ice cream).  But they would not do it.  We had a wonderful view and great company and I felt great and could eat!
Our view.
Lonnie getting his bib
Me and my lobster.  We shared it, but had to take a picture first.
It was a wonderful outing!
This week my chemo was switched to one drug, I have finished the four sets of two drugs and I have been told this one should not make me as sick.  The problem was they gave me IV benedryl before the chemo just in case I had an allergic reaction.  Well that knocked me for a loop.  I could not keep my eyes open.  I had to have Lonnie come and get me and take me to the car in a wheelchair.  I was passed out for 5 hours.  Lonnie told the missionaries to not call me on Friday, I could not have answered them if they did call.  It was the premedication that did me in this time.  We will see how I feel this week.

The Missionary Medical Committee sends a newsletter out regularly.  There was a part of the conclusion of the letter that humbled me and brought tears to my eyes.
 Elder (Dr) Schwitzer of the Seventy who is the chair of the committee wrote the letter.  

 "Thank you for your great service and watchful care of the missionaries.  This week I attended the temple with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and listened to them pray for protection and safety for our missionaries.  You are included those prayers, just as the missionaries.  May The Lord bless you greatly this month in your service. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!" 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Occasional Fuzzy Brain

This week we had our 3 other Zone Conferences(the first 3 was 2 weeks ago.  We have such awesome missionaries!!  This was in the foyer of one of the church buildings where we had conference.  I think it was in Cypress.  I loved it so much, but the board reflected the light and I could not seem to change my angle to not have a reflection and I could not find out where to turn the lights off..  I think you can still enjoy the message!
I love teaching at these zone conferences and feel it a privilege that I am allowed 20 minutes to present to these wonderful missionaries..  
My subject was again, "How to stay awake in meetings and studies."  Here is a couple more quotes I used in my power point presentation:
This is my favorite:
Someone asked President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985), “What do you do when you find yourself in a boring sacrament meeting?” His answer was a little surprising: “I don’t know. I’ve never been in one.” .
 I make the missionaries tell me why someone 90 years old never went to a boring meeting:  They did come up with the answer. They also told me many ways to stay awake.  I have had many calls asking that question, but see, they knew the answers all along!

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles recently taught:
“Young people increasingly need to be learners who act and thereby receive additional light and knowledge by the power of the Holy Ghost—and not merely passive students who primarily are acted upon.”

Wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion."
Thomas S. Monson, "To the Rescue"

 I had several missionaries thank me afterwards, I hope I can give them information that they can take with them the rest of their lives.  I KNOW that they all will drink more water the rest of their lives because of me hounding theme to DRINK MORE WATER!

We have twin brothers from Cambodia in our mission, The Elders Sam
Elder Barlow and Elder McOmber checking the cars during Zone Conference.  Elder Barlow is able to present about driver safety and Elder McOmber talked about bicycle safety, not using the word "like" too much and apartment cleanliness.
President Tew and one of his counselors, President Deveroux and his wife.  He has just recently gotten another counselor.  (I think his name is Porter-sorry fuzzy brain does not remember short therm well.)
I showed a picture of this quilt before, but this is the Elder whose mother made the quilt for me, Elder Kuhlman.  I know I have had earthly and heavenly angel attending to me, otherwise I could not do all that I am able to do!  My hat was made by a friend in our home ward.  She made me two and I received many compliments about them.
Elder Kuhlman shared at the lunch table that he and his companion have been extremely busy because the members keep finding them people to teach.  YAAAAAA!  That is the way it is suppose to be!   He said they have 2 baptisms today and 1 scheduled for next week.  All have been brought in by members first.  He said that one lesson, the member gave the lesson and did the talking and the missionaries just agreed with him.   They are in a Spanish branch that sounds like it is growing by leaps and bounds!
This is my off week ( I have chemo every other Friday) and day 2-5 are very hard.  I usually  sit in a chair and the only thing I do is answer the phone.  So far, on my worse days, I don't get very many calls, I think the Lord is taking care of me.  But then when I am able to start thinking clearer, I seem to get many more calls from our missionaries.  This week (after my couple of days of stupor) I had interactions (calls and/or texts) with at least 35 different missionaries plus parents and doctors. (That means many more that 60 individual interactions)  It was a busy day! We love being able to help the missionaries.  Elder McOmber was busy this week moving more missionaries, fixing bikes, visiting some elderly people in our ward here, and varnishing a bed head/foot board for the President's home as well as checking cars at Zone conference..  Plus he takes care of me!!!! (He does an excellent job of doing that!)

We received a box from family this week with Elder McOmber's birthday present (not for 4 more weeks) and Christmas presents.  We were allowed to open them now.  We had fun  opening presents/having a "party".  And have already put our gifts to good use!  We have received many compliments about them also!
"It isn't enough to just be on the journey; we must be awake to our duty and continue with faith as we draw upon the comforting, strengthening, enabling, and healing power of the Atonement."

Carole M. Stephens, "Wide Awake to Our Duties"