Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year

     I have been having problems with my computer for a while, but it totally crashed last night.  All my pictures are on my computer, so this time we will be picture less, sorry.  I would much rather tell our story with pictures, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.  A lesson I learned a long time ago was that "you have to roll with the punches".
     This week I felt pretty good and made our Christmas plates to give out.  Yummy treats like mint chocolate chip cookies, caramels, mints, divinity and Rolo/pretzels were on them.   Elder McOmber is delivering the last of them today.  All senior couples are checking apartments for cleanliness.  We have 22 apartments in the Whittier and Whittier West zones.  Elder McOmber was too busy to do it when I was feeling good, so he has to do it on his own today.  He loves giving the Elders and Sisters a hard time about keep their areas clean and neat.  It is easier to have the spirit with you when you are  organized and clean.  He gives them a plate of goodies after talking with them.  I had him all organized, but he lost the papers I had for him and he had to start from scratch.  Huh, we need to practice what we preach!  (Smile)
      Our Christmas was very quiet, in fact the most quiet I can ever remember.  We had a nice meal with our miniature turkeys (Cornish hens).  That's what would fit in our oven.   Elder McOmber talked about going in to work after lunch to work on his bicycle shed, the man is obsessed with it.  Instead we went for a drive by the ocean.  I took some nice pics, will post if my computer can be fixed for next week.  We went down by the Queen Mary and the lighthouse.  It is by downtown Long Beach.  It was very nice to spend time together!
     Said President David O. McKay: “True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.
“It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means—good will toward all men.”
     The really GREAT news is that I had my last chemo treatment on Friday!!!   The doctor and nurses cheered with me and they gave me hugs and a certificate.  My only regret is that I forgot to get a picture of those wonderful people.   note to self......take pics of all important people and times in my life, can't go back.  This is the last time for all the chemo side effects (positive thinking!).  I hope that with radiation I can be back to "normal" ( whatever that is?). That will start the middle to end of January.  
     We have been richly blessed and love our mission.  We have the best missionaries ever!  They always lift us up.  They truly follow Jesus and demonstrate His Christlike attributes!
     "As our great Exemplar, Jesus taught us how to live, to love, and to learn. He taught us how to pray, to forgive, and endure to the end.
He taught us how to care about others more than we care about ourselves. He taught us about mercy and kindness—making real changes in our lives through His power. He taught us how to find peace of heart and mind. One day, we will stand before Him as our just Judge and merciful Master.
These sacred responsibilities of the Lord cause us to adore Him as our personal and perennial Prince of Peace. We praise Him for our privilege as parents, grandparents, and teachers of children."
Elder Russell M Nelson. Christmas Devotional 2013
     May we always follow His example!

      Have  a safe New Year celebration,  I will probably be sleeping.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What Gifts Shall We Give?

What gifts shall we give?   It is hard, I love to give gifts that mean something; that the grandchildren will remember, but it is hard.  My memories of Christmas's past are of the things we did as a family, the love, the smells, the warmth, the snow crunching beneath our shoes; there are very few physical "gifts" that I remember.  Our grand kids and kids have missed our family party last year and again this year, because we have chosen to serve the Lord.  Next year we will have those family memories  rekindled through a family party.  We miss all of our children and grandchildren, but know we have done the right thing in serving a mission in the California Long Beach Mission.  It is a humbling and awesome experience.  Hopefully there is a gift to them in us serving.  They will remember how we love serving and will want to serve others as well.

I loved this talk and have watched it 3 times, Peace is the best gift that we could ever ask for.  Elder Russell M. Nelson said in the Christmas Devotional:
"Focusing on the Lord and everlasting life can help us not only at Christmas, but through all the challenges of mortality. ..Peace can come to all who choose to walk in the ways of the Master. His invitation is expressed in three loving words: “Come, follow me.”

Thursday night, the senior couples went on a boat ride and watched a Christmas parade of Christmas decorated  yachts.
It was cold, so I had many layers of clothes.  (Cold relative to southern California)

This week we had 3 Christmas Zone Conferences.  We work with such awesome missionaries! They were very spiritual meetings and helped me feel the spirit of Christmas.  I felt well enough to go to them.
These are all the missionaries in our mission in these three pictures.  Notice all are dressed up, except Elder McOmber. 
Each conference played a game of passing gifts right and left.  They were white elephant gifts, so some were funny, some practical.

This is the white elephant gift we gave, it is paper towel roll.
Sister "Minnie Mouse".  She is so cute!
This Elder's mother came to the office the afternoon I took this picture(She brought a box for him and is from Hong Kong).  I was able to show her this picture of him fron the same day.  She loved it!!!
Elder McOmber loves horsing around with the Elder's and they all love him!

Elder McOmber has his building almost done.  He has had elders with construction experience help him.  They have cement board on it now and will stucco it after Christmas.

President Monson said at the Christmas Devotional:
"May we give as the Savior gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift. We give as a remembrance of all the Savior has given. May we also give gifts that have eternal value, along with our gifts that eventually break or are forgotten. How much better the world would be if we all gave gifts of understanding and compassion, of service and friendship, of kindness and gentleness."

We love you all!
May you all have a Very
Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Roses in December

It is December and our rose bush is blooming with many beautiful flowers.  Hard to believe it is almost Christmas.

This is looking out my front (and only) door.  I like that we can see the wet lands and animals.  The coyotes have been active lately.  There are the Canadian geese wintering here and the other night we heard the coyotes then the geese making all kinds of noise.  I think the coyotes were looking for dinner.
A heron by the next, I wonder if it was the one hatched there in the spring?
Sara, Glen and kids cut these out for us so we could give our missionaries a Christmas card.  I wrote on the back.

Elder McOmber helped me package them up to give out to our missionaries.  It was quite a production.  They seemed to appreciate the decoration.
The bike shed is coming around with lots of help.
Elder McOmber thought he would get it done in one week, he is finding it is taking much longer.  They have the wood on the roof today, but I don't have any pictures of that yet.  
Each zone was given it's own "Title of Liberty".  This is Long Beach Central Zone's .
The Assistant's to the President gave me my own "Title of Liberty" with messages from many of the missionaries.  They are all so sweet and loving!
Our Elders getting ready for Christmas.
We were able to see a program on the Navy Parade grounds.
I have really come to love the Book of Mormon and don't know why it has taken me so long to come to love it.  Each time I read it, I get new messages meant just for me.  
     I had my 7th Chemo on Friday--only one left, I am so excited to be getting close to the end of chemo.  It has been hard, I am ready to be back to "normal".  
From Elder Eward Dube's talk in Conference:
We should all be “anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [our] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled: “The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future” (“The Best Is Yet to Be,” Ensign,Jan. 2010, 24; or Liahona, Jan. 2010, 18).
      As it is Christmas time(as well as all year long), we all need to be anxiously engaged in doing good.   Find someone to help or serve every day. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"What have I done to help someone today?"

Every  morning we hear revelry and every evening at sunset, we hear taps.  Everyone on base stops what they are doing and face the flag as it goes up or down .  I am proud to be an American and to have served our county in the US Army.  
When we love somebody, we show it by doing something nice. So learn to serve: find a need and fulfill a need. Surprise people with a good deed they hadn't planned on. We have that opportunity at home, at school, and at church."

                                                                           Russell M. Nelson, "Focus on Values"

      I am so impressed with so many people and the love they show to all those around them.
       It really takes many people to help those on a mission.   Sara and Glen at home have been so great at keeping up our home in Idaho.  They and their children have gone way beyond the extra mile in caring for our home, vehicles, and dog.  
     The phone calls from and about all our grand kids, hearing about their sports, helps keep us a part of their lives. I wonder if they can hear us cheering from here? 
     My visiting teachers, Holly Hancock, friends from our home ward and our ward here send notes and letters  make us smile.  E mails  brighten our day; all make us feel better.    Phone calls from family checking on how we are doing are so sweet to our hearts.  
     Being able to Face time, makes it so we seem like we are sharing everyday time with family.      When I am having a hard time (chemo)  our missionaries will text me a happy text (most of the text I get are for sicknesses) or leave a note or card on my desk or just come in and ask how I am doing.  They always let me know they are praying for me.  
     I don't want to leave anyone out, but there are so many more people showing their love!
     We feel so loved!!!  We appreciate so much all the wonderful things people do for us;  it sets such a good example that I want to follow.  They are all so Christlike. 
     I like to ask all my grand kids, when I talk to them on the phone, "What have you done to help someone today?"  They are always able to give me a good answer.  I am so proud of them!  It is a question I ask myself at the end of the day as well!  I need to do better!

We have a new Senior couple here for the office, this is the Bradshaws from near Price, Utah, here for 18 months
A mission atmosphere is always changing.  We are excited to welcome them here!
Some of our happy missionaries,
Elder McOmber has permission to build an outbuilding to keep bikes for missionaries in.  This is the office Senior Elders consulting on the construction.
Elder McOmber has learned many new skills while on our mission.

Elders all helping Elder McOmber with the construction.  Some of them are learning new skills also!  There will be more pictures as they progress.
These Elders came in and shared a miracle with me.  One of the elders needed to go home to have a medical problem treated, but after blessings and prayers, his labs came into normal and he can stay!!!!  The Doctor does not understand, but we do!!!    He really did not want to go home.   I love hearing the miracles that happen to our missionaries.
Tomorrow is Elder McOmber's birthday.  These Sisters made him a teddy bear cookie. Elder McOmber shaved his head "for me".  We match.   

"As you love His children, Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you. You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls."
                                                                        -David L. Beck, “Your Sacred Duty to Minister