Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friends and Family Challenge

Today, Bishop Monroe gave the 5th Sunday lesson for the combined Relief Society/Priesthood. It was on the intent/purpose behind the "D4 Friends and Family Challenge" that was given several weeks ago.
Four concepts/principles were emphasized.
1. The purpose of missionary work is to bring ALL unto the Savior.
2. He asked everyone to read/immerse 3 Nephi as a help in this missionary experience.
3. The best way to talk about the Gospel is in everyday conversations with the people in our environment. So, we should think of ways to speak of Christ and the Gospel as simply and often as conversations allow.
4. We need to have people in our home - to feel the Spirit.
As members of this Relief Society, we support the truths set forth in this lesson. We know we have many sisters that serve in other auxiliaries while Relief Society meetings are being held. We wanted everyone to appreciate what is being said by our leadership. And, we want to hear from you as we all take this challenge to be missionaries!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Greater Capacity for JOY

I am back from a family reunion in San Diego. Our accommodations were right on the beach and it was amazing. The water was almost warm (unusual for California) and the beach were white and clean. The weather was 70 degrees for a high. Perfect.
Then I always think, it takes no character to have joy in San Diego. Anybody not feeling some level for happiness is brain dead.
Yet as I contemplate the temperatures in Dallas for the next week, I see a greater capacity for JOY for all of us here.
Because of this unrelenting heat, when that first September morning comes and the breeze has shifted and we can take a full deep breath - we will know exhilaration few others get to experience.
In the August ENSIGN, President Monson states, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."
Staying cool this summer is a problem to be solved. But we have so many people in our environment - in this ward - to be loved.
Anyone can do lots of good when the weather is wonderful. BUT, can we be wonderful when the weather is....summer in Dallas?
I believe my "JOY" depends on it!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Sabbath and The Sacrament

This Sunday the Relief Society lesson will be taken from Elder Oaks' General Conference talk The Sabbath and the Sacrament. Elder Oaks teaches us that "Partaking of the sacrament is the center of our Sabbath day observance." He talks about three things the Lord requires of us as we think about the Sabbath and the sacrament: (1) to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, (2) to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments, and (3) to rest from our labors on the Sabbath day.

One of my favorite quotes from the lesson is kby Elder Melvin J. Ballard, "We want every Latter-day Saint to come to the sacrament table because it is the place for self-investigation, for self-inspection, where we may learn to retify our course and to make right our own lives, bringing ourselves into harmony with the teachings of the Church and with our brethren and sisters."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Have We Met?

I loved Stephanie Manwaring's lesson where all the sisters had to move (somewhat) and form groups to discuss the lesson on Eternal Marriage. It really changed things up as it often seems like we - the women of D4 RS - have seat assignments when we come into Relief Society.
It will all have to change to include Ashley Fletcher, Jennifer Andrade, Marianne Bluth (and new baby McKenzie), Reveau Sloan, Patsy Cumpton, Brenda Peterson, Emily Thornock, Stephanie Manwaring, Mirielle Boha, Ann Cox-Miller, Esther Nuhu, Cecelia Yu, Samantha Hernandez, Julie Durrant, and whomever moves in THIS week!. (NOT to mention our soon-to-be sister in the Gospel, Rainey Martin - getting baptized this Saturday.)
We have had an influx of women who have become part of our D4 Relief Society and the landscape will change. Have we met them? Invited them over to our homes/apts? Called them?....Even asked their names???
This is going to be a very fun summer as so many people that we were best friends with in the Pre-Mortal World (there is no happenstance with the Lord) - are now in our midst.
We knew them - but since "Earth Time" - have we met - AGAIN?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting to Know You in 10 Questions #6

Emily Thornock

Emily and her family moved into the ward a little over a month ago. They are here for an internship and will be with us till the end of August. Let me tell you, Emily is a cute and a smart cookie. I laughed out loud several times while reading her responses. I know you'll enjoy reading them as much as I did!

1.) What do you like to do in your free time?
Reread books like the Twilight series and Ender's Game, scrapbook, see
the latest new release in the theaters, and eat steak!

2.) What is your favorite ice-cream flavor? Hmmm... three way tie between this root beer float flavored ice cream I got once at Baskin Robbins (and have never found again!), Costco vanilla and Ben and Jerry Cherries Jubilee... oh and the mint brownie ice cream from the BYU creamery. Ok that's four- well math has never been my strong suit.

3.) Would you ever like to go bungee jumping? Yes! I tried to go once when I was younger, but I was too short! Now that I'm a towering 5'1'' I'd go for sure. In fact, I've been trying to get a group to go skydiving for a while. If you're interested, let me know!

4.) What is the first thing you notice about people? That they're almost always taller than I! Well, I like to think that life is too short to be tall. :)

5.) What is the last movie you watched? I plead the fifth. But I swear it was the cleanflix version... probably.

6.) What is the last book you read? The Hunger Games series, and am finishing up the third and final book right now!

7.) What/where is the furthest you have been from home?
India or Australia - I'd need a map to decide where we're calling home. We could choose Dallas (where we're living right now),Philadelphia (where we live while Rob is going to school for his MBA),the SF Bay Area (where I grew up), or NYC (where we lived beforeleaving for school). Whew!

8.) What is a special, strange, or secret talent you have? Special talent: I enjoy singing - especially in the shower and in the
car (with the windows down at the top of my lungs - yes, I'm THAT person)
Strange talent: I can curve my tongue into various shapes.
Secret talent: I can sleep anytime, and anywhere. You may even get the chance to observe this secret talent during high council Sundays.

9.) If you could have any super power, what would it be and why did you
choose that one?
To stop and rewind time. Do you remember that TV series called Out of This World? The main character had those powers and I thought it was
amazing. That, and the main character's father talked to her through a magic cube... and her father's voice was played by Burt Reynolds... which is awesome.

10.) If you could have any job in the world and be amazing at it, what
would it be?
Other than the standard "I wish I could be the best mother in the UNIVERSE!" I would want to be on the International Olympic Committee because I love when the world gets together to celebrate individualswho have dedicated their lives to being the best athletes they can be... Either that, or an heiress - which I'm not even sure IS a job, but tell that to Paris Hilton.

Um I totally love the flash back to the show "Out of This World." I LOVED that show, and now that I know about Burt Reynolds role in the show I am endeared to it even more! Thanks Emily for participating. We are so glad you and your family moved to our ward.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Eternal Marriage


This Sunday our Relief Society lesson will be on Chapter 38: Etenal Marriage.
Here are a few questions to ponder as you prepare for our lesson:

Why is it important to know that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God?

What is the Lord’s doctrine of marriage, and how does it differ from the views of the world?

What are the blessings of an eternal marriage in this life and in eternity?

How can an eternal perspective influence the way we feel about marriage and families?

What can we do to help youth prepare for eternal marriage?

What can we do to encourage young people to set a goal to be married in the temple? How can we help them prepare for this?


July and Pioneer Season is here again. We as members of the Church, owe such a debt of gratitude to those Mormon Pioneers who came to know their God, through that long trek west to establish a Zion in the tops of the mountains.

For some, the suffering was extraordinary. In the early days of the Church Stillman Pond was a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy in Nauvoo. He was an early convert to the Church, having come from Hubbardston, Massachusetts. Like others, he and his wife, Maria, and their children were harassed and driven out of Nauvoo. In September 1846 they became part of the great western migration. The early winter that year brought extreme hardships, including malaria, cholera, and consumption. The family was visited by all three of these diseases.

Maria contracted consumption, and all of the children were stricken with malaria. Three of the children died while moving through the early snows. Stillman buried them on the plains. Maria’s condition worsened because of the grief, pain, and the fever of malaria. She could no longer walk. Weakened and sickly, she gave birth to twins. They were named Joseph and Hyrum, and both died within a few days.

The Stillman Pond family arrived at Winter Quarters, and like many other families, they suffered bitterly while living in a tent. The death of five children coming across the plains to Winter Quarters was but a beginning.

The journal of Horace K. and Helen Mar Whitney verifies the following regarding four more of the children of Stillman Pond who perished:
“On Wednesday, the 2nd of December 1846, Laura Jane Pond, age 14 years, … died of chills and fever.” Two days later on “Friday, the 4th of December 1846, Harriet M. Pond, age 11 years, … died with chills.” Three days later, “Monday, the 7th of December, 1846, Abigail A. Pond, age 18 years, … died with chills.” Just five weeks later, “Friday, the 15th of January, 1847, Lyman Pond, age 6 years, … died with chills and fever.”Four months later, on May 17, 1847, his wife, Maria Davis Pond, also died. Crossing the plains.

Stillman Pond lost nine children and a wife. He became an outstanding colonizer in Utah and later became a leader in the quorums of the seventy. Stillman Pond did not lose his faith. He did not quit. He went forward. He paid a price, as have many others before and since, to become acquainted with God.

The passage of time makes us forget, and we lose our appreciation for those who walked the path of pain, leaving behind a tear-marked trail of nameless graves. But what of today’s challenge? Are there no rocky roads to travel, no rugged mountains to climb, no trails to blaze, no rivers to ford? Or is there a very real need today for that pioneer spirit to guide us away from the dangers that threaten us?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can I Help You Save Some Time?

I know we're all busy, so here's a little tip I'll share with you that might save you some time. I know what it's like to be raising little ones and to have those small people (or big people, phone calls, work or ANYTHING) needing your attention while you're trying to get dinner on the table. This was a little tip I learned while working in the food prep areas of various cafeterias at BYU. This is free advice for you, and you won't even have to pay four years' worth of college tuition for it!
One day I was helping the head cook make huge pans of lasagna (I think), and she dipped into a giant 6 gallon pail with her large measuring cup and scooped out the seasoning for her dish. I asked, "What's in there???" and she answered by telling me it was a seasoning mix with all the basic seasonings in one place. HERE'S THE RECIPE:
All-Purpose Seasoning
Basically this contains mostly salt, then equal portions of the other three (less pepper if you don't like that much). The amount of salt is also more or less, according to your taste. You could add other things if you like.
1 1/2 cups salt
1/4 cup garlic powder (not salt)
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl/container and mix/shake until evenly distributed. Fill a pinch bowl by your stove or a shaker-type container (new/clean used) and keep handy. Extra mix can be used to refill. Seasoning can be used for meat, fish, grilling, pasta salads, casseroles...you name it. The sky's the limit.
I hope this helps!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Responsibilities

We are studying lesson #37 in the Gospel Principles manual this Sunday, July 10. The lesson is about duties of the mother and father. Think about the things we have been given to help us fulfill our roles as women and mothers. Come prepared to share positive examples you've seen of women raising their children.

President Boyd K. Packer praised women who were unable to have children of their own yet sought to care for others. He said: “When I speak of mothers, I speak not only of those women who have borne children, but also of those who have fostered children born to others, and of the many women who, without children of their own, have mothered the children of others” (Mothers [1977], 8).

The lesson also covers the role of children. We are all children--so this applies to all of us!
What can you do right now in your life to honor your parents?


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I just returned from two weeks in Utah, celebrating the 75th Wedding Anniversary of my parents. I had all my children there, and most of my grandchildren (three grandsons are on missions). We spent three days celebrating with dinners, a family party, a photo session and a trip to the temple. It was a busy time with lots of people around. As I think back on the experience today - I realize that life really is made up of moments of time rather than events. It was an event for sure, few people ever achieve 75 years married - in fact this was only the second time I have attended a 75th anniversary - the first was Mae and Gil Housley down at Turtle Creek years ago.

But, what I remember are the moments. One day, I walked, with my Dad, all around his beautiful garden, and we cut flowers to take to Neldon's grave for Father's Day. Another day, I sat on the grass with my little granddaughter Regan and showed her how to make a doll with Hollyhock Flowers. I helped my daughter Rebecca work on a a quilt she was making while we waited for her home-made bread to come out of the oven. I went with my daughter Lori to buy fabric to drape the tables for my granddaughter's upcoming wedding.

These are moments of time that weave the fabric of our lives. One of my favorite moments was going to the Temple with all my children and their spouses, and my parents. I know that my sweet husband Neldon was also there. Life passes quickly - we have to savor the moments - they come mixed in with all the work, anquish, pain and joy that this second estate. earth has to offer.

I'm looking forward to have "a moment" in the Temple with all my friends from the Dallas 4th Ward on July 12th. I remember last year at the first D-4 Generations Project, going early to do initiatories, and 6 sisters gathered from the ward, and another 6 showed up an hour later -it was one of those great moments. . . . .Let's do it again. . . .


Kayley Pyne has offered to babysit for free, for any Mothers of young children who want to go to the Temple. She has been looking for a summer job, but until she finds one, she would like to offer some "service". She has even offered to let you combine two families, so that you could go to the Temple together as well. If you are housebound with little children take advantage of Kayley - before she gets that summer job! Her cell number is 214-909-7711

SO much done...So much to do!

All ready July is a banner month! We have a new Bishopbric; a new Mission President and Family; Alissa John to thank for spearheading our July 4th Breakfast which met all goals set for it; an amazing turnout for our Summer Craft Interest Group Event(a big thanks to Haley Marstella and Karen Bateman); a chance to "informally" meet with our book club (that has taken a summer hiatus) at Barbara Doerk's house/pool!!!(July 7th - 7:30pm); and NOW just 6 days left till we celebrate our ability and privilege to worship and serve in a temple DOWN THE STREET from us! OUR GENERATIONS 2 PROJECT!
There is so much always being done by the women of the Dallas 4th Ward.
Yet these are the last days, and there is so much left to do!
We have had a sign-up and we will be calling the sisters of the ward to check on your availability to come to the temple July 12, 2011, and do initiatories and/or endowments and/or sealings and/or baptisms.
We will also need to know how many of you have family file names that we can help you complete!
We start the COUNTDOWN. Six more days. Make the necessary arrangements. Mark your calendars!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Changing of the Guard

I always feel the Bishop is the Guardian of our ward family. We have had a changing of the Guard. I love Bishop Johnson and have appreciated ALL the support he has given the sisters of this ward. There have been times when he has been on his way back from Russia and he will call me - from the airport - and say, "I am home if you need anything." He has served 5 years - and so has his family! Can we really thank them enough? The neat part of the gospel is, he will always be a Bishop. (ask me why if you have a question about this)
Now we have a new Bishop - James L. Monroe! He has called two new counselors - Marc Pyne (1st) and Ben Stringer (2nd). I totally support them.
No uprisings, no heated debates, no fuss, no loss of strength in our ward - just a changing of the Guard!