Sunday, September 27, 2009

RS Lesson

So, I was asked to give the RS lesson today. Because of a mixup in the scheduling, they told me I could teach on anything I wanted. I was a little frustrated with this, until I found I topic I loved and then alot of great references to go along with it. I had 2 talks I wanted to use, and a few extra quotes. I had a hard time compiling them in a good, organized manner, so prayed a lot and then this morning I layed them all out and went at it. I felt like it came together really well.
I teach sunday school it is always a little difficult to switch gears going into Relief Society. And, in RS I tend to get nervous as well. I was mostly praying I would remember what I wanted to say and all.
The lesson was going pretty well, and then all of a sudden people started Obama bashing. Now I know some of you know my feelings on this. I am not an Obama supporter, but I also think he should be treated with respect. I knew there were probably Democrats in that room and even Obama supporters. I kindof brushed a few comments under the rug, and kept going, but finally I started giving my little spiel about how I feel about it all. If we are standing for values, and right....and doing so in a horrible manner, we aren't doing the Lord's will. His work does not involve contention, or disrespect, or anything like that. Even though we went off on the tangent, I thought the lesson went well, and I felt like and hope everyone walked away feeling okay about things. I felt alright about it, but I didn't even get through half of what I intended.
I think most of it was mostly for me though. I have been feeling the need to step up a bit and be more than I am. I get so caught up in my family and what we are doing, and putting myself out there is not easy for me. I know I can do better at Visit Teaching. that is my start. and just trying to be happy in service. I am still not sure where I stand in the political arena. I know my beliefs, but not necessarily the best way to STAND for them.
I am excited for conference. I was happy to see the RS Broadcast somewhat along the same lines as my lesson....which was a given, since I had such a broad topic. ;). it still was nice.
Anyways, I wanted to share the great quotes I found with you. I loved them and think we all need a reminder on how important we (Heavenly Father's daughters) are and how even if we don't realize it, we are and can make a difference! Hope you enjoy. I would appreciate any comments....unless they are Obama bashing related! ;) just kidding.

The Influence of Righteous Women

Sheri Dew
Recently a professional assignment required me to travel out of the country. But I felt such a foreboding about the trip that prior to leaving I sought a priesthood blessing. I was warned that the adversary would attempt to thwart my mission and that physical and spiritual danger lay ahead. I was also counseled that this was not to be a sight-seeing or a shopping trip and that if I would focus on my assignments and seek the direction of the Spirit, I would return safely home.

Well, the warning was sobering. But as I proceeded, pleading for direction and protection each step of the way, I realized that my experience wasn’t all that unique. Might not our Father have said to you and to me as we left His presence: “The adversary will attempt to thwart your mission, and you will face spiritual and physical danger. But if you will focus on your assignments, if you will heed my voice, and if you will refuse to reduce mortality to a sight-seeing or a shopping trip, you will return safely home”?

The adversary is delighted when we act like sightseers, meaning those who are hearers rather than doers of the word (see James 1:22), or shoppers, meaning those preoccupied with the vain things of this world that suffocate our spirits. Satan baits us with perishable pleasures and preoccupations—our bank accounts, our wardrobes, even our waistlines—for he knows that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also (see Matt. 6:21). Unfortunately, it is easy to let the blinding glare of the adversary’s enticements distract us from the light of Christ. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26

Pres Kimball
Bear in mind, dear sisters, that the eternal blessings which are yours through membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are far, far greater than any other blessings you could possibly receive. No greater recognition can come to you in this world than to be known as a woman of God. No greater status can be conferred upon you than being a daughter of God who experiences true sisterhood, wifehood, and motherhood, or other tasks which influence lives for good.

Sister Allred quoted last night….. but still Pres Kimball
Finally, my dear sisters, may I suggest to you something that has not been said before or at least in quite this way. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often such an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.

Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility. Remember, it is as wrong to do things just to be seen of women as it is to do things to be seen of men. Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion.

Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.

Pres James E Faust
You are all heaven sent. You are the beautiful adornment of the human race. Your role as sisters is special and unique in the Lord’s work. You are the nurturers and the caregivers who have, as the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “feelings of charity and benevolence.” 1

I do not have words to express my respect, appreciation, and admiration for you wonderful sisters. The women of all ages in this Church have been endowed with a divine, uniquely feminine gift of grace. We are humbled by your acts of faith, devotion, obedience, and loving service, and your examples of righteousness. This Church could not have achieved its destiny without the dedicated, faithful women who, in their righteousness, have immeasurably strengthened the Church. Over the years the sisters of the Church have faced challenges as great as yours are today. Your challenges are different from those of your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmothers, but they are very real.

I rejoice that opportunities for women in the Church and in the world are increasing. We hope that you will enhance these expanding opportunities by bringing to them your sublime feminine touch. These opportunities are really without limit. When the Prophet Joseph established this organization, he “turned the key for the emancipation of womankind,” and “it was turned for all the world.” 2 Since that key was turned in 1842, more knowledge has come to the earth and to women than has come in all of the history of the world.

Over the years, this great society for women has evolved under inspiration, but the basic work of the Relief Society has not changed. The Prophet Joseph stated very succinctly that your work is “not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls.” 3

Following the dedication of the magnificent new temple in Nauvoo, we rode home on the airplane with Sister Parkin, Sister Hughes, Sister Pingree, and their noble husbands. I asked the sisters if they had gone to the red brick store in Nauvoo where the Prophet Joseph established the Relief Society on March 17, 1842, with only 20 members present. Sister Parkin responded that they indeed had.

As I was speaking to them, I was forcefully reminded that all of the sisters anywhere in the world can inherit and benefit from the blessings of the Lord for women. The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I now turn the key to you in the name of God. … Knowledge and intelligence shall flow down from this time.” 9 This blessing of knowledge and intelligence comes to all righteous women in the Church, regardless of their race or nationality, and irrespective of whether they are new in the Church or descendants of one of the first 20 members in Nauvoo in 1842. These blessings flow to those sisters who willingly perform the work of angels.
No matter what circumstances you sisters experience, your influence can be marvelously far-reaching. I believe some of you have a tendency to underestimate your profound capacity for blessing the lives of others. More often than not, it is not on the stage with some public pronouncement but in your example of righteousness and the countless gentle acts of love and kindness done so willingly, so often on a one-to-one basis

Mary Ellen Smoot
Truly, we may each be an instrument in the hands of God. Happily, we need not all be the same kind of instrument. Just as the instruments in an orchestra differ in size, shape, and sound, we too are different from one another. We have different talents and inclinations, but just as the French horn cannot duplicate the sound of the piccolo, neither is it necessary for us to all serve the Lord in the same way. Sister Eliza R. Snow said that “there is no sister so isolated and her sphere so narrow but what she can do a great deal towards establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth” (Woman’s Exponent, 15 Sept. 1873, 62; emphasis added). Our privilege and our responsibility as daughters of God and as sisters of Relief Society, then, is to become the most effective instruments we can be.

Dieter F Uchtdorf
The lives of women in the Church are a powerful witness that spiritual gifts, promises, and blessings of the Lord are given to all those who qualify, “that all may be benefited” (D&C 46:9; see verses 9–26). The doctrines of the restored gospel create a wonderful and “unique feminine identity that encourages women to develop their abilities” as true and literal daughters of God.3 Through serving in the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary organizations—not to mention their private acts of love and service—women have always played and will always play an important part in helping “bring forth and establish the cause of Zion” (D&C 6:6). They care for the poor and the sick; serve proselytizing, welfare, humanitarian, and other missions; teach children, youth, and adults; and contribute to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Saints in many other ways.

Because their potential for good is so great and their gifts so diverse, women may find themselves in roles that vary with their circumstances in life. Some women, in fact, must fill many roles simultaneously. For this reason, Latter-day Saint women are encouraged to acquire an education and training that will qualify them both for homemaking and raising a righteous family and for earning a living outside the home if the occasion requires.

We are living in a great season for all women in the Church. Sisters, you are an essential part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for eternal happiness; you are endowed with a divine birthright. You are the real builders of nations wherever you live, because strong homes of love and peace will bring security to any nation. I hope you understand that, and I hope the men of the Church understand it too.

What you sisters do today will determine how the principles of the restored gospel can influence the nations of the world tomorrow. It will determine how these heavenly rays of the gospel will light every land in the future.4
As you live up to this mission, in whatever life circumstance you find yourself—as a wife, as a mother, as a single mother, as a divorced woman, as a widowed or a single woman—the Lord our God will open up responsibilities and blessings far beyond your ability to imagine.

May I invite you to rise to the great potential within you. But don’t reach beyond your capacity. Don’t set goals beyond your capacity to achieve. Don’t feel guilty or dwell on thoughts of failure. Don’t compare yourself with others. Do the best you can, and the Lord will provide the rest. Have faith and confidence in Him, and you will see miracles happen in your life and the lives of your loved ones. The virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 45:28). Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to “succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees” (D&C 81:5).

My dear sisters, as you live your daily life with all its blessings and challenges, let me assure you that the Lord loves you. He knows you. He listens to your prayers, and He answers those prayers, wherever on this world you may be. He wants you to succeed in this life and in eternity.

James E Faust
Now a word to you sisters who are married. In a very substantial way, you sisters make our homes a refuge of peace and happiness in a troubled world. A righteous husband is the bearer of the priesthood, which priesthood is the governing authority of the home. But he is not the priesthood; he is the holder of the priesthood. 10 His wife shares the blessings of the priesthood with him. He is not elevated in any way above the divine status of his wife. President Gordon B. Hinckley in last April’s general priesthood meeting stated: “In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey.”

He went on to say: “I am confident that when we stand before the bar of God, there will be little mention of how much wealth we have accumulated in life or of any honors which we may have achieved. But there will be searching questions concerning our domestic relations. And I am convinced that only those who have walked through life with love and respect and appreciation for their companions and children will receive from our eternal judge the words, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.’ ” 11

The wives who sustain their husbands in bishoprics, stake presidencies, and other priesthood callings are a great blessing to the Church. They serve behind the scenes quietly but effectively, supporting the family and home while their husbands are ministering to the Saints. I said “quietly.” I’ve heard it said that some women like a strong silent man—they think he’s listening!

Dieter F Uchtdorf
As we look at the history of this earth and at the history of the restored Church of Jesus Christ, it becomes obvious that women hold a special place in our Father’s plan for the eternal happiness and well-being of His children.

I hope that my dear sisters throughout the world—grandmothers, mothers, aunts, and friends—never underestimate the power of their influence for good, especially in the lives of our precious children and youth!

President Heber J. Grant (1856–1945) said, “Without the devotion and absolute testimony of the living God in the hearts of our mothers, this Church would die.”1 And the writer of Proverbs said, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled the women of the Church:

“It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord. …

“We call upon the women of the Church to stand together for righteousness. They must begin in their own homes. They can teach it in their classes. They can voice it in their communities.”2

Sheri Dew
We are not women of the world. We are women of God. And women of God will be among the greatest heroines of the 21st century. As President Joseph F. Smith proclaimed, it is not for us “to be led by the women of the world; it is for [us] to lead … the women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy” (Teachings, 184).

President Gordon B. Hinckley said recently that “the eternal salvation of the world … rests upon the shoulders of this Church. … No other people in the history of the world have received … [a] more compelling mandate … , and we’d better be getting at it” (“ ‘Church Is Really Doing Well,’ ” Church News, 3 July 1999, 3).

Friday, September 18, 2009

in the beginning.....

Ok, I am finally at the beginning of the Towery Grandparents visit. The last few years they have taken 2 days to get here, so they can enjoy the drive and feel a little more rested by the time they are here. So, they arrived in the afternoon. As soon as they arrived, and after hugs and greetings, Gramma headed straight over to the boat. The kids helped her with a step ladder so she could climb in...and she was in the boat within 10 minutes she was there! As, I have mentioned earlier, one of the main priorities for the trip was as much boat time as possible. I can't even remember what we did that evening, except probably dinner and visiting and stuff. And then they mentioned to J that they wanted to visit with the hospital worker who helped Gayle so much. J made a phone call and we were on our way. It was late, like 10 by the time we got there, but it seemed like a good time to go, to make sure they were able to visit him. If you don't know, we have a podunk hospital, but this, and especially because of Alan, is where she got the correct diagnosis, and the most help. Alan went above and beyond and we really appreciated it. I think Gayle wanted him to see her when she looked so good too!

The next morning, J had surf rescue training, so Randy, Kaleb and I went to watch for a bit. They were out in the ocean so we couldn't see real well but I think it was still fun for Randy to see him. The waves were big, and of course they were working hard (HA, anyone who's been out there knows it's mostly fun).
here's their new helmets....

There were a bunch of jelly fish on the beach....or pieces of......

Sorry, I don't have photos of the training, or even Randy. We took video, and I don't know how to put them on here. A couple of those guys were ex surf rescue team, and there is always a medic and emt on scene. thank goodness....

After J's training we headed out into the boat. We decided we would start out on the lake, for a more leisure ride. It is also fun to look at all the lake and canal front homes.

Here is our beautiful daughter! don't look at me in the doorway. I don't understand how I regularly make such hideous faces....but that is me I guess! I was concentrating...not totally pissed off btw!

Randy was very happy to take a turn at the wheel.

Gramma was very happy to finally be in the boat in 'her' seat!

It was an okay day to be out...once again, because there wasn't wind and rain, which is pretty typical when visitors come!

The kids and I crawled onto the bed. We actually all fit, amazingly. Idon't think we could all sleep comfortably down there, but we did fit.

It started raining, but Gramma insisted on staying we just bundled her up more.

until we insisted.

but, it only rained for about an hour. We were out there for quite awhile. Ocean Shores has lakes and canal systems that are all connected, so we were able to go miles and miles...and it has to be slow or people yell at you off their decks for disturbing the waterfront. HA. one guy was yelling at us, and we were waving. We are a little slow sometimes, we thought he was happily waving!

btw...We took this photo, cause Elijah wouldn't let me have my own seat. he wasn't posing for a shot. He is quite the cuddler and always wants to be close by! my 13 year old still loves his momma!

We had a great time. It was pretty relaxing. We saw some animals, cool houses and yards. and good visiting.

We made good use of that boat this weekend!
A tradition when G and G T come to visit is getting clam chowder for Gramma. She loves it and lives landlocked. She has a favorite chowder restaurant. They insisted in treating us to dinner, so we reluctantly went to eat yummy food with them. ;). Dang, I know I have a few photos from the restaurant, but I can't find them.
Anyways, we ordered...which was an interesting session. The restaurant is semi expensive and everyone is having a hard time ordering expensive stuff except for Elijah who insists he wants steamer clams. He has never had them, but loves seafood, and usually the most expensive thing on the menu. After talking to the waitress we settle on him ordering the appitizer platter of steamers, and sharing the salad and potato with me. Kaleb is a picky eater so was having a hard time choosing. Everything seemed to have something that just wouldn't work....and if the cooks took the part out he didn't like it wouldn't really chicken fettucinee alfredo without the alfredo...seems kindof crazy to spend $20 (or let Grandpa and Gramma) on plain noodles with some grilled chicken pieces on it. anyways, he we finally talked him into a serloin steak, which he loved! good to know for future.
Gramma and Grandpa knew exactly what they were's always the same....a bowl of clam chowder and side salad for Gramma, and fish and chips for Grandpa. He always shares one of the fish with perfect for both.
Unfortunately, right when the food came out, Gramma started feeling know those times when you can watch someone go from being fairly fine to really sick within minutes..well, that is what happened to her. She took a few bites and then had to leave, sit in the car. She didn't want to leave, just go out to see if she would feel better soon, so we checked up on her occasionally and enjoyed our meals. We had hers packed up so she could eat them when she felt better (which meant she had an awesome lunch after church while we ate boring leftovers. But, at least she was able to enjoy it! Elijah LOVEDLOVEDLOVED the steamer clams. He was in heaven and even mentioned when he had his plate full of empty shells, how envious he always was of other people with the empty plate of shells before. It was very cute. We'd just witnessed him fulfilling a lifelong dream! We had a great time except for Gramma's spell. BUT, we felt very grateful that she felt good enough most of the time to enjoy the other activities with us. that was a blessing.
We are very grateful they were able to come, and for the decent weather, and the fun activities. We really did have a great visit. Hope we don't have to wait so long for the next! It took Gramma a year to recover from her 2008 visit! ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

beach time

We went to the beach saturday afternoon. Gramma has to get her feet in. She didn't have her usual comrades with her this year, cause they all had boots on, so were getting soaked as the waves came in, so she just stayed out a few minutes, but she always goes in up to her knees at least and sometimes up to her waist! It is pretty funny...there is a kid in all of us! Kaleb and J are playing lifeguard...ready to tromp if need be, but not quite willing to get soaked just for fun! you can tell we've lived here awhile.....;) and aren't still enticed by those inviting (bitter cold) waves....

a little way up the beach, we found this bird.

He was there by himself and would not budge.

every once in awhile a wave would come up and he would use his wings to balance, get his footing and stand his ground...I was fascinated, and took numerous photos.
I probably got a foot away, and he stood firm.
He reminded me of an analogy...standing firm, no matter...the waves, big scary giants, distractions... we were there for quite awhile and he kept his spot the whole time.
he did walk, so we knew he wasn't crippled, but he just walked a few feet (of his)

and his wings worked.... he didn't fly, cause he was standing ground, but he wanted me to know he was able bodied. ;)
Elijah likes to dig. Kas was making his hole pretty!
Gramma's treasures! by the way, I figured out how to go to the beach and not pick up treasures......wear new shoes! I did it the other day and was so desperate not to get them dirty, that I stayed clear of the waves, so there was no possible way I would ruin my shoes. ha! I did notice sand in the creases though the next time I wore them.


So, saturday of Gramma and Grampa's visit, we took them out on the bay. Their one main request for the trip was boat time! so, we crammed as much of it in as we could....It was hard, but we were willing to make the sacrifice for them. ;) Actually since the kids have been gone most of the summer, they have been dying to get some boat time as well. Saturday promised to be a decent day, not beautiful like we would have loved, but not raining or windy....a good day for us!
We decided to load Gramma up before we launched, which meant everyone would go with her. We didn't want her to have to walk all the way down the dock. Seemed like a good idea, but they had to ride down this really worked out find. I watched, and then parked the truck, and met them on the marina dock. We did a little crabbing. Here's Elijah baiting the crab pot with sardines. We use sardines, cans of tuna, and chicken legs. Dropping a pot. Gramma was having a great time. She loves the water. I don't know if you remember, but we designated that seat, Gramma's seat. And, she didn't leave it the whole time we were out there! Except maybe when we were pulling pots! the kids perched up top!After dropping the pots we went over to westport to show them what a real marina looks like! :\.
Of course I had to take another 10 or so shots of the bird rocks...see all the pelicans? love them....I think half mast was for Ted Kennedy. loved the big flag though! I want one. this will be our next boat! quite a constrast.....eek. but, anyways, we decided to dock and go for ice cream. This is a first for us and I am sure will not be a last.... We arrived the same time as many of the charter boats, bringing back their customers with fish! It was fun watching them clean the fish and the people walking off with their loot. These shore birds were helping to clean the nets..
this sea lion was waiting for guts...
Westport marina. YUM!!! I want some!!!
ice cream.

Back out in the water. Gramma is loving it....she goes from this...... to this......
to this..... on our way back. It was funny cause the spray was getting her soaked. We couldn't get her to come in, and soon she was conked out. I think she only accepted the rain gear cause she was too tired to say no. Good ol Grandpa wouldn't leave her, even though I don't think he appreciated that seat as well as Gramma did.
the kids took turns driving....

We went back, got our pots. they are all video shots, so I can't show you the two measly crab we got. We need to get our technique down. not great crabbers yet, but it was enough to have a taste that night! We had a great time..afterwards we went to the beach and took a tour of some of our latest jobs. I will post that next....