We Seek After
These Things
Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Friday, July 11, 2014

If you had $10 . . . what would you do?

If you had an extra $10 a month . . .

What would you do?
Go to lunch with a friend, pay someone to wash your car, buy dessert for the weekend BBQ,  buy popcorn and drinks at the movie house . . .

We all do that every day, don't we?

But here's an idea for you . . .

The following is going to hurt your heart.

Yes, that's right . . .

you better stop right here if you aren't prepared for a little heartache.

Watching the following video just about destroys me  . . .  I can barely make it through without just breaking down into a puddle . . .

Take a minute and take a look . . .

Our Beloved Children from Liahona Children's Foundation on Vimeo.

(These are my photos and do not represent the Church, or the Liahona Children's foundation in any way . . . but my own personal photos I've collected along the way here in Honduras)

My Thoughts for Missionary Families and Others . . .

Many many members of the Church have served missions in developing countries of the world.  Many families have members now serving in developing counties.  Many many families hear about the heartache, the challenges of these members of the Church, and others,  through the reports of their missionaries.  Many wonder what they could possibly do to help when they are so far away . . . .

Well,  I have some information for you -

Malnutrition is a serious problem throughout the developing world.  It literally stares us in the face daily in our missionary work here in Honduras.  And it pulls at my heart strings daily.  Many severely malnourished children suffer lifelong cognitive and physical defects, leading to increased levels of poverty and decreased potential earning power.  Which in turn become a vicious cycle in the next generations.

Because of the success of the Church's (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) missionary program in bringing many people into the gospel in developing countries, it is not unusual to find severely malnourished children among the Latter-day Saints in these countries.  Honduras certainly being one of the most humble countries that is an example of malnourishment amongst it's very youngest members of the Church.

Someone Should do Something Right?

The Liahona Childrens' Foundation was created about six years ago to address malnutrition among Latter-day Saint children worldwide.  It is a federally recognized 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization, independent of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Although it is administered by faithful Latter-day Saint members, and is funded by members of the Church in the United States and other countries.

Malnutrition is a hidden condition and not easily detected, but through weights and measures based on Standard Growth charts set by the World Health Organization, the Foundations volunteer screeners can accurately identify children in need of nourishment assistance.  Re-screenings later on show that the children receiving the supplements show significant progress in a short amount of time.

Branches, wards and Stakes all over the world are currently in need of supplemental health to provide nourishment to severely malnourished children in their units.  The cost of preventing such cognitive and physical problems related to malnutrition is surprisingly reasonable . . . less than $100 a year to provide the supplemental nutrients needed to feed the brain and body during this critical period of growth and development.

The incredible returns . . .
from such a minimal investment are amazing.  You can see in the video the hope, and peace and joy that these families experience at the physical assistance for their little ones, but in turn they have the opportunity to become healthy, contributing members of the Church in their areas, branches, wards and stakes, contributing many times over the initial amount needed to provide such nourishment.

I am only suggesting . . .
that if you are searching for means to make a difference in the life of many of the members of the Church throughout the wide wide world . . . you consider taking a look at this organization and see if it is something that you can support.

I can share my own thoughts with you with every bit of energy that I possess, that the situations you see in this video, and the other videos available on their website occur everyday of the week in many homes and families throughout the world, and certainly it is widespread throughout Honduras where we are serving.

The Liahona Children's Foundation is beginning screenings this week in Honduras,  to begin to supplement and help children and families, members of the Church and their friends.  Their mission is to nourish the potential of children to lead healthy and productive lives.

Also - You can read more at this magazine article linked below:

It is so easy to donate.
(click here!)
You can make a single contribution, you can make an ongoing contribution.
You can write a check, pay with paypal, use a credit card.
If you feel this is an organization you can support, why not take just a moment
and make a contribution.  Truly . . . it's easy and only takes moment.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Land that I Love . . .

God bless America . . .

Land that I love . . .

These words have never rang truer.

 I haven't had time to share a blog post for close to three months, but couldn't let this opportunity pass by . . . and now . . .

The day is almost gone . . . and hardly a minute has passed today, in all the busy-ness, that our thoughts haven't turned to that land that we love.  I imagine even now . . .

at this moment, sparklers are sparkling . . .

fireworks are blazing . . .

crowds are cheering . . .

and anthems are sounding . . .

All over America.

Land . . . that I love.

Something that many don't know about me . . . is that I really cannot get through the first lines of  . . .

My Country 'Tis of Thee,

Oh Say can You See,

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag,

O Beautiful for Spacious Skies,

This is My Country,

This Land is Your Land.

Without a big lump in my throat . . . tears in my eyes, and a love of country in my heart.  We were sad today to not have the opportunity to participate in festivities recognizing the birth of this great nation.  But we are celebrating in our thoughts all day!  And remembering (thus ALL the photos!) all the many special times . . . that mean so much to us . . . and to our family.

We didn't make any new 4th of July memories today . . . unless you count wishing "Happy 4 of July!" to another American couple we happened to meet in a restaurant overlooking the ocean on the coast of Honduras . . . who when they heard us speaking English, stopped by to wish us a "Happy 4th! . . .

Okay . . . So I guess we actually did create new 4th of July memories after all!

Before living outside the United States of America for over a year now . . .

I had a list a mile long . . . enumerating all the things that were wrong with America.  (Even though I love it dearly, and truly 'Pledge my allegiance" at every opportunity . . .)

And it's true . . . it is far from perfect.  And I'm sad to say, that I do believe it is becoming less perfect as each day goes by.

But now, my new list is even longer . . . in fact it's so long . . . I could go on and on and on and on about all the things that are RIGHT with America!  Many many many things . . . that truly I have not had an appreciation for in the past.

Someday, when I have more time (like in 2 years . . .) maybe I will try to really enumerate all the great blessings that I took for granted living in this grand country.  ALL the things . . . that are RIGHT with America.  And I think you would be surprised.

(One of the most inspiring Independence Day celebrations you will ever see - Enjoy!)
(Watch this . . . SERIOUSLY, all 28 minutes of it, You'll be so glad you did!)

So while you're enjoying your fireworks . . .

And lighting your sparklers . . .

And singing . . .

 "This Land is your land, this land is my land, from California, to the New York Island, from the Redwood Forests, the the Gulf Stream waters . . . this land was made for you and me!"

Remember to  . . .

Stand beside her, and guide her . . .

Land that I Love . . .

God Bless America . . .

(One thing I am sure of . . . these young people, surely are the Hope of America!)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Because of Him . . .

I have been charmed, mesmerized, enchanted, inspired . . . in my moments of free time this week with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 
theme on all the social media sites this week . . . 

I can't see the end of this week come without sharing . . .

Everything that is good, everything that is wonderful, everything that brings joy into my life is

Because of Him

Every talent that I have, every good friend that nurtures,  every family member that is my greatest treasure . . . is

Because of Him

Every beautiful scene that I capture, every animal creature that roams the earth, every act of kindness, love and support received is . . .

Because of Him

The answer to every prayer, every moment of peace, each purpose
that fills my day,

Because of Him

Why else would anyone leave the comfort of home and family, a beautiful life filled to the brim with blessings each day, loved family, loved friends and neighbors, a life of comfort, a fulfilling job, giving up a business that was the creation of a lifetime, every modern convenience you can imagine, beautiful grand babies who filled their grand parents days with such wonder . . .

and in exchange,

 travel away from home and loved ones and dedicate three years in service, 24 x7 days a week in voluntary service to the Lord and his servants here in a foreign land very different from the one we are accustom to?


Because of Him.

Because of a lifetime of blessings received.

Because of Him.

I find it remarkable this Easter season the amazing capacity to reach out and touch our friends and neighbors with our testimonies of the Savior, as well as those scattered across the world who are actively seeking the knowledge of the Savior in their lives.  We see each day those who are prepared beforehand for our missionaries message, one of peace, joy and the blessings of eternal life.  

Many are actively seeking and we are here to share that message.  Many find hope and comfort in their trials, answers to their long awaited prayers, through the peace the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings.  

I'm including links to the amazing technology that we have seen this year to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Ones that have reached out and touched me, and I know many others around the world.  There have been several that truly have touched my heart.  You'll find them all linked and connected in the post and hope they also uplift and inspire you and bless your life in someway as they have mine.

Happy Easter.

Happy celebration . . . that

He is Risen.

Two other #BecauseofHim thoughts worth sharing - 

I also agree with every word shared and blogged by this:

Middleaged Mormon Man

Some choose to believe that this world is all there is – that it happened by some fluke, a coincidence.
Some choose to believe that there is no Supreme Being – no God, nor Creator. No one.
Some choose to believe that we are random – merely here “because.”
Some choose to believe that life is about getting what you can get – and the only rules are those society fabricates for itself.
Some choose to believe that Jesus was a myth – a fantasy conjured up by desperate people.
Some choose to believe there could have been a Jesus – who was a pretty good teacher and philosopher.
Some choose to believe that when they die, it is all over. Forever.
Some choose to believe that they will spend their lives forging bonds with loved ones that will be destroyed at death – never to see their departed loved ones again.
Some choose to believe that they are forever broken – beyond repair.
Some choose to believe that life is a continual struggle – eventually resulting in eternal nothingness.
Some people choose to believe that life is darkness, and meaningless.
Some people choose doubt and fear.

I can’t do that.
I choose to believe.
I choose to believe that there is a God, who is the Father of my Spirit. And He loves me.
I choose to believe that everything around us, including us, is part of His design for our eternal happiness.
I choose to believe that He has established a way of living that can ensure our return home to Him.
I choose to believe that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to earth, to show us that way of living.
I choose to believe that Jesus Christ was more than a teacher or philosopher. He came as the Savior of all mankind. Amazingly, that includes me.
I choose to believe that He willingly gave His life, and came alive again, clothed in glory and immortality.
I choose to believe that because of this, Jesus broke the chains of death, and that every person that has lived on this earth will be reunited with their body – clothed in glory and immortality.
I choose to believe that I will again see my mother, father, brother who left this life years ago. We will be reunited.
I choose to believe that even though I am broken, I am not beyond repair – the Savior can mend me through the power of His great atoning sacrifice.
I choose to believe that the pain, anguish, bitterness, suffering, grief, guilt and horrors of this life can be swallowed up by His atoning sacrifice – if I am but willing to accept His offer.
I choose to believe that life can be filled with joy and light. The light which chases away the darkness.
I choose to believe that there is a point to this life. A meaning.
I choose to believe in hope.
I choose to believe that hope, joy, meaning and light only exist because of, and through, my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I choose to praise Him, and worship Him.

Jesus the Consolator
Jesus the Consolator – Karl Bloch

And this - an incredibly inspiring work by:

Susan Noyes Anderson

The Man of Galilee

 ©2010 Susan Noyes Anderson
Gethsemane brought Jesus to His knees.
Remove this cup from me,” He dared to ask.
His humble prayer, “Thy will, not mine, be done,”
allowed no respite from the fearsome task.
 Then Judas branded Jesus with a kiss
and set in motion all that was to be.
For silver, he gave up a heart of gold,
betraying Christ, the Man of Galilee.
 In lesser ways, His friends forsook Him, too.
Could ye not watch with me one hour?” He pled.
But sleep earned their devotion more than He
who slumbered, once, within a manger bed.
 They loved Him, but they failed to understand,
though He had warned them clearly, in His way.
When Peter struck and smote a Roman’s ear,
Christ healed the grievous wound without delay.
 For He would bow Himself beneath us all
and heal the wounds by our own sins laid bare.
The day had come; just One could pay the price
for every soul whose burden He would share.
 The great and dreadful reckoning was nigh…
the final act for which He had been born:
when love would overcome the bonds of death
and mercy be returned for hate and scorn.
Meekly, Christ gave Himself into the hands
of greedy men who hungered for His life.
His goodness and His honor mocked them all
and flayed their sanctimony like a knife.
 Abusing Him in body, mind and soul,
His people judged Him blasphemer, not King.
They looked to Roman rule to kill their Lord
by means that promised untold suffering…
 To crucify, not stone, the very One
whose agony would save them from their own.
What irony that He, to save the world,
would tread the bitter winepress all alone.
 When Pontius nor Herod would condemn,
the people chose Barabbas over Him.
Then was He scourged and stripped and crowned with thorns,
His innocence reviled from limb to limb.
 No mark of disrespect was deemed too foul,
though He accepted all with kingly grace.
No hand of kindness dried his bleeding brow;
no voice defended Him, nor pled his case.
 Instead they jeered and followed His advance
to Calvary, Golgotha also named;
Christ’s hands and feet were nailed upon the cross:
The Lamb of God, bloody but unashamed.
 The shame belonged to others––and the guilt.
Naught but a few emerged with hands still clean.Peter denied Him thrice; disciples fled.
But John was there, to grace the final scene.
 And Mary, too, and others of good heart.
Behold, thy mother!” … Christ was heard anew.
His thoughts, in death, were for another’s care.
Father, forgive…They know not what they do.”
 Oh, God, my God, hast Thou forsaken me?
In Father’s absence, Jesus had to own
the sins of all the world, without relief;
He paid the ransom for our souls, alone.
 And when, at last, He uttered, “It is finished.”
Into Thy hands, my spirit I commend.
He willfully surrendered life for love,
so mercy could serve justice, in the end.
 His followers had still not understood;
they mourned Him as if everything were lost.
Christ promised He would rise again, and yet…
they saw but darkly, torn by grief and tossed.
 The women went to honor Him once more.
An angel came; the stone was rolled away.
At first, they grieved to find His body gone
and looked upon the angel with dismay.
 Where was their Lord? Had evil men conspired
to steal the body and defile His flesh?
But when the angel spake, their fears were stilled,
despite the sting of death…the wounds, so fresh.
 “He is not here, for He is risen.” Lo,
He goeth before you into Galilee.”
Departing hence, the women saw Christ’s face
and fell before His feet on bended knee.
 In glory, He appeared to His disciples
and bade them touch His hands and feet and side.
Their minds and hearts were pierced, deeply as He was,
for truth had been revealed and sanctified.
 His resurrection meant that Death was vanquished.
The door was opened wide; He held the key.
His sacrifice atoned for all God’s children,
from Eve and Adam…through eternity.
 Christ’s gift to us is sacred and enduring:
His saving blood, the only peace we find.
In word and deed, forever we’ll revere Him––
The Lamb of God, Redeemer of mankind!
 ”…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me,
though he were dead, yet shall he live.” -John 11:25

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Crazy Life we Lead . . .

Whew!  This schedule continues to astound me . . .

I've been thinking it's just temporary for the last nine months now . . .

We started 5 hours away from home this morning in Tocoa, one of our member districts.  Returning from 5 days on the road (and in the air) meeting with members, missionaries, leadership, setting new missionaries apart, delivering missionary callings, interviews with members in the Districts just in time to shop and get lunch together for a P-day activity, we invited one of our closer zones of 30 missionaries to join us for P-day.

Sharing just a few of the interesting photos of the day . . .

 (Meeting with members and missionaries to set apart three new missionaries and 
delivery mission calls to newly called missionaries!)

(Looking pretty excited to be opening the long awaited mission call!)

While I was shopping and lunch preparing, Norm was holding an Office Staff meeting to discuss our transfer schedule and new arriving missionaries which begin tomorrow morning bright and early.

The P-day activity was a hike, which was wonderful and so much fun to spend three hours with our missionaries, climbed 1500 feet in elevation and left me inspired but exhausted.

After returning home I've been packing the boxes, bags, sheets, meal preparation stuff we haul with us about an hour away for our newly arriving missionaries and putting together all the things we need to welcome new missionaries.

(I may never eat chicken again and feel good about it . . .)

(No, this is NOT a school bus, but local transportation here in Honduras!  Our Elders 
arriving for a P-day activity with us!)

Finally at 10 pm it's into the shower, ordering a gift online for our tax person who we are so grateful for, especially since tomorrow is April 15th!

And it's up at 5am tomorrow to start the meal cooking in the crockpots that we will bring with us to our new missionary meeting and to pack the car and be out the door at 7am.

(Doesn't every kitchen have a setting hen caring for a dozen soon to be hatching eggs!??)


I feel so much better now . . . I knew you all just wanted to know!  Not all the days are like this one  - thank goodness . . . 

Some are much crazier :)

But it is good at the end of each day
to think . . .


We did a lot of good today :)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Little Benjamin

This little one . . .
Born Valentines Day, February 14, 2014
sure brings lots of joy to this grandma and grandpa.

Truly so blessed to have a new little one in the family.
We're pretty sure he knows how much this Grandma and Grandpa love
him, even though he's far away and doesn't get lots of loves and hugs and kisses 
from us right now.

Thank you for sharing so many absolutely darling
photos with us.  We're so grateful for fabulous modern technology so we can see him
and visit with him, and hear big brother Jonny cakes tell us all about him.

Congratulations on this wonderful addition to the family.

We all think he's pretty special :)

For now . . .

We'll be content with precious glimpses from afar.

When we arrived in the mission field, we had two beautiful grand babies.  Now we have 
four :)  We think that's pretty cool . . .  Double the blessings!


Missionary Grandma and Grandpa

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our Family Story - Part 3

It just goes on and on . . . but I think that's kind of the point don't you??

Part Three

It's almost getting a little too springlike to be sharing photos from the holidays  . . .

But since I'm always a month or two at least behind in many things, that's still what I'm going to do.  I have many photos to share of our family that were taken during the time I was in Utah the end of December the beginning of January . . .

So maybe it will be a cold blustery day where you are and these photos will fit right in.

For us, here in Honduras . . . it's already 90 degrees everyday, with the promise of much warmer temperatures to come in the next couple weeks.

It it will be cooling and refreshing for us!

Just a brief review in case you missed part one and part two of the story . . .

In part one we shared all the fun adventures we had in Honduras when some members of our family arrived for Kelsie and Mike's wedding in the Tegucigalpa Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It includes photos of our travels in our mission as they mixed and mingled with the missionaries until we arrived in Tegucigalpa for the wedding.

In part two you'll find photos from the wedding in Tegucigalpa, links to information about what a Mormon Temple wedding really is and it's significance.  Part two also contains a few more Honduras style travel family adventures up to the point where we all returned to the States for the wedding reception in Utah.

I felt to blessed to have the opportunity to travel to Utah and participate in many family events during my stay there.  Since it was the holiday season, there were many family events scheduled.  But the best part was just being reunited with all our children who traveled to Utah for the festivities, seeing our darling grand babies, seeing our wonderful Grandma Klein (who passed away just weeks after I had the blessing to see her and spend time with her), and just spend time with all our close family members who truly our greatest treasures.

The Utah Adventure - 

A big thank you to Kim for opening her home to us.  It was wonderful that many of us could stay together in the same place.

It wasn't long before the family started to arrive from all over the United States.
Columbus Ohio
Raleigh North Carolina
Denver Colorado
Phoenix Arizona
New Jersey
I think we made about 5 trips to the airport.

Of course . . . there was always lots of good food involved
in EVERY activity.

These little cousins had such a great experience
getting to know another another.

You can tell these two are related . . . they both love
their iPad activities.

And of course . . .
There's nothing more wonderful than Christmas with babies
and little ones.  It's the most wonderful time of the year :)

Thank goodness we had lots of good helpers to finish up
the quilt for Kelsie and Mike.  I started it in Honduras, and stayed up all night
the first night to finish sewing all the pieces together.
The wedding quilt is a big tradition . . . and that was the last one :)
It turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Soon it was time for the annual Driggs family roller skating event.

You have to skate at least once a year
to belong to this family!
Even the little ones have to learn how to do the
"Hokey Pokey" on roller skates!

After roller skating we all traveled to Farmington Utah for the
Klein family Christmas party.  We were so sad to miss our Grandma Klein here,
she was in the hospital and unable to attend.  We missed her so much, it 
just wasn't the same without her!

Lots of photos of Klein family cousins!
There is no shortage of cousins here in the Klein family.  A wonderful 
opportunity to visit with so many family members that we don't get to see
often enough.

Next up . . .
the Morawetz family Christmas party . . .

For these little ones . . . they are just going to think
life is a party!

And of course . . .
We can't forget New Years Eve!
We had so much fun playing games at the home of 
Parker's parents.  Thanks so much for the invitation!

The highlight of the evening was by far the new party game.
Where believe it or not, you have a riot with a large group of people
passing around an imaginary ball  :)

And drumroll please . . . 
It's the main event!
(photo credits - Chelsie Clarke Photography - thanks a bunch Chels!!)
Kelsie's wedding reception was at
Wadley Farms in Lindon Utah.
She sure missed having her Dad be at her side for this big event.  But Kelsie
and Mike felt so blessed to be able to have him present where it really counts . . .
And that was the Temple in Honduras.
We don't very often get a photo of these four brothers and
sisters together.  Since they live thousands of miles apart.
And of course.
Nothing but Jordan's for these two newlyweds.
And that's it
Before you know it, we were all back on the airplanes
bound for all parts of the country. (And Honduras)
But what a blessing . . . 
Yes, we are so blessed by the gospel and families.
Truly God is our loving Heavenly Father.
(click here for more information)
And he loves all of his children.
We are grateful to be a forever family.  Though we might live far apart
at the moment.  Our hearts will be knit together forever through
 gospel principles restored to earth in the Latter-days.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ultimate Destination Wedding

Welcome to part two . . .
of this particular story . . .

For the beginning of the story be sure to check here . . .

As we have discovered during our service here in the San Pedro Sula East Mission . . . we are so blessed!  When we were first beginning to comprehend and understand our new callings a year ago we had no idea how especially our family would be blessed through our missionary service.

One of the most apparent ways has been the opportunity to have Kelsie and Mike travel here to Honduras, along with other family members to be sealed not only for time, but for all eternity in the Tegucigalpa Temples.  One of the newest and just recently dedicated temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For a little information about Temple weddings you can see what I previously blogged here . . . and also on the Church's website here and here.

Our time in the Tegucigalpa temple was certainly precious.  We feel so blessed to have this great opportunity and to always have this memory be with our family forever.  We are also so grateful for the family members who were able to travel to Honduras.  We know there were those who would have loved to be here . . . . and feel sorry that we couldn't be all together as a family during this special time.

It was also a great blessing that I could return to Utah afterwards, to greet and spend time with other family members, and continue the celebration with our many wonderful friends, family and neighbors. 

No doubt - we have been greatly blessed.

As a photographer - it was also a great pleasure to take so many wonderful photographs in this beautiful location.  There will only be a few included here, but I'll soon make more wedding photos available as my time allows. 

We also want to recall many of the other important events that took place during the holiday season in Utah and in Honduras.

 . . . Sadly, almot immediately after the temple ceremony we had to begin to put people on airplanes to return to their homes  . . . the Christmas holiday was approaching . . .

Cheryl, Larry and Kim were the first to leave . . . followed closely by Mike and Kelsie who were off to their honeymoon in Roatan.

And soon, we (Norm, Kristin, Cory and my Mom and Dad) were on the road for the long return trip to San Pedro Sula.  Made even longer by the approaching darkness and stormy weather.  Darkness and stormy weather don't go well with driving in Honduras . . . but we all arrived home safe and sound.  

(I think it's significant to note that Cheryl and Larry arrived back in Utah in one of the biggest storms of the century - the airport in SLC was closed for hours, which hardly EVER happens.  Their flight was diverted to the Provo airport (yeah - weird!!) where they sat on the runway for HOURS . . .)
But thank goodness they made it home when they did, because then the storms hit the East Coast cities and closed airports and flights were backed up and grounded right up until Christmas day!

I think everyone got to try the famous Honduras Baleadas!
And we soooo appreciated everyones help to make festive treats for all the missionaries
during the Christmas season!!

Below are photos from our visit to the botanical garden outside of Tele, Honduras.
We had a wonderful visit there one day.

We also visited the Garifuna village just to the West of Tele, right on the coast.
The Garifuna have an interesting history - their population in the area commenced with the shipwreck of a slave ship from Africa in 1675.  

We stopped to visit with a family looking for a spot to build a new home, when we mentioned we wanted to try a coconut, next thing we knew a young man shimmied up the palm tree and snagged us each coconuts.  Which they then used their machete's to open them up so we could drink the coconut water.  It was actually quite good!

Back at the mission home - it was time to get started with some 

Thank you Mom and Dad for all your help in the kitchen!!

Hermana's Rioja and Porter who were at the mission home during this time and helped 
us put the finishing touches on all the missionary treats.  We don't know what we would have done without them!!

We enjoyed having Cory with us for several more days, and Mom and Dad here right up until Christmas eve, when the three of us flew to Utah.

Once in Utah - 

Kim had invited me to come stay at her home, along with Karianne, Greg, darling Addi Bear, and Ella.  She had lots of room for a crowd and it was a great blessing we could stay there together.  Cory and Sara were at Sara's parents home, and they came frequently to visit bringing our precious Jonny Cakes so he could get to know his Utah cousins!  Dustin and Cami stayed with Cami's grandma as it was a great opportunity for them to spend time with Cami's grandparents also.  The honeymooners had their own space at our townhouse in Highland. 

(Stay tuned for part 3) 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I have a Family Here on Earth . . .

Maybe you've noticed . . .

we try to make it plain to see that the family is

central to our Heavenly Father's plan for us here on earth.

It's not difficult to see what a wonderful opportunity it is to have the support, love, friendship, camaraderie that come from being part of a family.  That's not to say that it's impossible to achieve success in life without one, but they certainly can bring many advantages, great joy and happiness to this life.  Life can be challenging enough as it is, and with the help of family, it just makes those challenges much more doable.  Our greatest desire would be that each of our children experience the joy that can be found in a happy home.

We know that our Heavenly Father's plan is a plan of families, so that all who come to earth have the possibility of enjoying that happiness and safety that comes from families.  It's the best place to experience and learn to love others unconditionally, as our Heavenly Father loves each of us.

God is our loving Heavenly Father, we are his children, he does have a plan for each of us.  He wants us to return to his presence after this life.  He gives us the experience of families so we can learn to become like him, and return to live with him again one day along with our families.  As we learn and grown and follow our Heavenly Father's plan, we earn the blessings of eternal life after we pass from this world into the next life.  

Tribute to our Grandma Klein . . .

This week we lost an amazing member of our eternal family - an inspiring mother, grandma to 39 grandchildren, great-grandma to 33!  To each of her descendants she was an inspiration in some way. I think it's pretty safe to say that each one felt her influence in many ways in their life.  We all have our own talents and skills that have increased with her nurturing assistance through the years.

We were blessed as a family to have Grandma Klein live with our family for 7 years.  In fact, during the time I was in nursing school . . . . I don't know how I would have ever gotten through those years without her assistance.  It was so wonderful to come home to dinner on the table, apple dumplings in the oven, a clean kitchen, laundry done, happy kids . . . I don't know how she managed to accomplish it all.  But she did . . .

Some of lives greatest lessons I know I learned from Grandma Klein.  Patience with sad, naughty, unhappy, crying or whining children . . . who could not possibly benefit from that one!  To love first and foremost . . . to serve.  That service was the key to almost everything.   Unselfishness . . . she ultimately gave everything away . . . everything.

Today our family paid great tribute to her, in remembrance of the life that she led.

(Thank you to +Cherise Gunter for catching that sparkle in her eyes!)

We were sad to not be a part of this great gathering,  from near and far . . . . her family traveled.  She would have LOVED to have the opportunity to visit us here in Honduras . . . I'm sure that we will be blessed by her presence from time to time . . .

I hope that I can always practice those life lessons learned . . . that have been such a blessing to me.

I wanted to share the sweet tribute that Norm paid to his mother.

It goes like this . . .

My Mother Loved Me

As I write this, I pause to take another bite of my mother´s homemade chocolates.  It brings back so many memories of how she made me feel loved and special.  She sent this last tin box of cashew turtles because she knew that is was my favorite.  It reminded me of when I was younger and I waited for her return from work and she always had some candy for me in her pocket, but it was the gentle smile that I always anticipated the most. 
  She made each of us feel as though we were the favored child. One day I decided to not go to school, third grade was just too hard!  We lived across the street from the school and as I hid under my bed I could hear the last bell ring, school has started and I had brilliantly avoided going.  Then the thought came: “and now, what are you going to do, stay under the bed all day?”  
I realized that my plan was not well thought out; my mother was home and the idea of staying under that bed all day made me wish that I was at school.  Finally, I walked into the kitchen and confessed my sin.  I remember her being surprised to see me, and then quickly knelt down to look me in the eyes and without any judgment, gently said. “Why don´t we go to the zoo today? Just you and I”  

When I had children, I asked her questions, like: “how old is a child when they learn to walk?”  To which she replied “normally one year”.  I then asked how old I was when I learned to walk.  “18 months she answered”, then she sensed that I felt bad and she went on to explain, “But you were such a beautiful child, I wanted to always hold you and so I never allowed you time to learn to walk”.  I believed this answer (and still want to believe it!).  
When she showed up to our home to live with us in Alpine, she had all of her possessions in her little Toyota Corolla.  She had no need for “stuff”, her greatest treasure where her children and grandchildren.

(With Karianne & Kelsie who would go on to become nurses like their
 When Kristin and I were about to leave for our 3 year assignment in Honduras, I looked at my mother and thought, “perhaps this is the last time?”  I didn´t want to believe it.  She looked like an angel to me, and she was.  Sent from heaven to bless and care for me.  I feel so very blessed to have had her and cannot wait until I see her again.  
To those of you who have cared for her in her final days and hours, I thank you.  I wish that I were there with you, I really do.   And to Wayne, I will always be grateful for thinking of me so that I could say goodbye to mom.  That was so very sensitive of you.
 My mother loved me.  ~~Zeke

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