Had a great time in Texas with Garret, Heidi and the boys--I also had some me time which was great. Then on to Washington to be there for Elaina's baptism and to celebrate Christopher's birthday. Had good visits with the other family members as well. Then Dad and I came home and Krista arrived Thursday and she is reteaching Dad and I on the computer so we could post things. I have never known how so watch out as I will be in there more often. Love to you all.
The first place we visited on our cruise to Alaska was Juneau, the State Capital. It is a very commercial port with thousands of tourists, so naturally the thing to do is shop, and that is what we did. Mom and I purchased a cut glass window hanging that has the mountains in the background, than glaciers and a cruise ship. There is a totem pole on the left side. We really like it.
After we left Juneau we traveled north to Glacier Bay. The weather was beautiful and the water as calm as you see in the picture on the left. We saw many glaciers, and had a great time watching the glacier in the picture on the right calve several times. When in does it sounds like thunder. It was amazing!
As you can see I haven't figured out how to get my words below or beside each picture, so you will have to hunt around to match up pictures with the story.
We went from Glacier Bay (my favorite place) to Sitka (my next favorite place). There we spent over four hours walking around, taking pictures and visiting a national interpretive center for the Tlingit People and then an Eagle and Falcon Raptor Center.
We traveled next to Ketchikan, "The Salmon Capital of Alaska." It has more totem poles than any other city. We rode the Fanicular up to the top of the hill that overlooks the City-more totems!
Our last stop before returning to Seattle was Beautiful Victoria, B.C. Unfortunately we didn't arrive there until 7pm, so we did not want to try and do much. Krista and I did decide to go off the ship and find a grocery store and stock up on good old Canadian junk food. We even purchase a McKane's(sp?) Deep and Delicious chocolate cake. Krista bought the most stuff so she could share it with her friends in Seattle.
While we cruised we had lots of fun aboard ship, eating, playing Trivia Challenge, going to the Art Auctions, eating, getting our picture taken, eating- you get the picture. Mom gained 4 pounds and I gained 6! At the Art Auctions Mom won a picture and Krista won four!
We arrived back in Seattle on Friday Aug 14. Greg was there to pick us up. Thanks again Greg! It was a great trip, and I recommend it to everyone.
Mom and I have been very busy! Last month the HSR (Humanitarian Service Room) was asked by Salt Lake to furnish pallets of School Kits, and this month it was Newborn Kits. This takes a lot of inventory and planning. The kits are to be assembled by ward youth groups or BYUI students, so we have to set up times during the day or in the evening for people to come in and do the work. When the work is completed we end up with a pallets containing 480 to 490 kits. We usually commit to do two or three pallets during the month. We use an assembly line system for putting the kits together that works really well. Before the assembly can take place we have to order in the required items that go in the kits. These come from Salt Lake, via other parts of the world, like Pakistan, India and China. After the pallets are completed we shrink wrap them and send them to the Salt Lake Humanitarian Service Center. The Church sends them on to all parts of the world, depending on need.
We also continue making quilts (3 sizes), stuffed toys, wooden cars and blocks, hospital dolls,file folder games, school bags, baby blankets, layette gowns and much more! I have even learned how to use a sewing machine.
We love what we are doing, and we really appreciate the other Missionaries and all the Volunteers that come to help out. During a one month period the Church usually ships needed items to a dozen places around the world, this also includes the USA (even Utah).
If you ever have a change to volunteer to put together kits or help in some other way for the Humanitarian Program of the Church, we would really encourage you to do so.
This Week Grandpa is able to work the whole time with Grandma at the Humanitarian Service Room.He still has to watch and make sure his legs don't start to swell up. So far so good!
Things have been quite busy. Grandma helps get quilts ready to be sewn and Grandpas has started making cloth puppets. He and Grandma have both sewn some puppets. Now that we have all the puppet patterns made, volunteers are asked to either make puppets at home or to cut out and sew them at the HSR. Salt Lake has asked for a bunch of them.
The HSR is also filling a quota of school kits for Salt Lake. They have asked us for 1400 this month, and they are almost ready to ship. Tonight Grandma and Grandpa are working with volunteers from BYUI, and they will put together the rest of the school kits that are needed (hopefully).
Yesterday Grandpa went to the Madison District Library to work with them to get six portable book shelves made, so they can put them in satellite location around town for people who can't get to the library. As you can see we do lots of different kinds of things to help others in our community. That is what makes this missionary assignment so interesting and fun.
We love doing missionary work, and we know that this is what we should be doing. Please remember us in your prayers. We will be sure and mention you in ours.
Here is my first effort at putting in information. Previously I didn't know how to get in. Well I have been a lone missionary at the Humanitarian Center for quite some time. We are getting prepared to do our March project of 1400 School Bags. I usually spend my time cutting them out and then other sisters come in and serge them and sew them together. It really takes awhile to cut them all out. Last week I think we had more than 32 baby quilts come in that sisters had tied at home. I also made patterns for 7 sizes of dresses for little girls (knit material with ribbed material around the neck and the sleeves.
People bring in a lot of fabric for us to use and I do a lot of sorting through and cutting things out for others to sew.
It is interesting the men who make cars (wooden toys) have started being quite creative. One has made some tankers, fire engines, ambulances and things like that. Airplanes trailers to go on the back of trucks etc. They are developing their skills.
I have been very impressed with the March Ensign as Dad and I do our scripture study we read articles from the Ensign each day. Please read it--I will tell you a couple of articles I was particularly moved by. One on how to teach your children to feel the spirit when they are young. I didn't have this because of my background and it has taken me most of my life to really recognize the Lord's hand in my life. But as President Monson mentions in the HT article in the beginning we must ask in faith that we will receive and answer--and we WILL. He gives examples Joseph Smith 15, etc.
I remember when you were all at home. It was night time and I heard someone crying, I got up to see what was the matter and Steven (10) was coming upstairs crying. I asked him what was the matter. He said, "It's true!"
I said, "What is true?"
His answer, "The Book of Mormon I have been praying and received an answer."
The Lord will answer any one of us if we ask in faith. He loves each of us as much as He loved Joseph, Nephi, Abraham etc. so if you are not receiving communication from the Lord ask yourself and Him what you need to do to have the answers you need.
Someone at Church mentioned today that a number of years ago Pres. Hinkley talked about the Pharoah giving Joseph the power to gather food (Seven years of plenty) for when there was none. Then about 7 years later he again mentioned this again and said we were in for 7 years of famine.
Be sure to gather slowly some of the means to carry you through these times that seem to be upon us now. Save some money, gather food storage as you can but take care of your needs as I don't think times will be easy for awhile and we have the ability to do something about it. This is also mentioned in an article.
Dad was able to go to church today and will try to take things easy and move into activity slowly. A nurse has told me what to look for if he has a blood clot break away and get to his lungs. I hope we don't have too many problems. Love all of you, from MOM
Now that we are officially serving our mission at the Humanitarian Service Room in Rexburg, Idaho, we decided that we would keep you posted on our activities and share missionary experiences with the whole family. Humanitarian Service Rooms (HSR) provide opportunities for individuals and groups to serve the poor and the needy.
Last week we had a meeting with Kristi, the lady in charge of the the Humanitarian Service Rooms for the Church. It was very informative. She emphasized that our purpose is to provide service to local community organizations (finding out their needs and trying to help fill them), and to help provide items that the Church needs for distribution throughout the US and the world.
What is the difference between help and service? That is a question often asked. Here is what our manual says: "When we 'help' we inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them; we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness...When you 'help' someone, they owe you one. But 'serving' like healing is mutual. There is no debt. I am as served as the person I am serving. When I 'help' I have a feeling of satisfaction. When I 'serve' I have a feeling of gratitude. These are very different things...We can only 'serve' that to which we are profoundly connected, that which we are willing to touch." I found this explanation very enlightening.
Carol and I have been asked to become the next Coordinators of the HSR when the present Coordinators are released, so we have much to learn. Right now Grandpa has been asked to work with the Local School Board to see what needs the kindergarten classes may have and also if their are any students (any age) that do not have winter hats or scarves. This is turning out to be a fairly cold Winter. Grandma is learning how to supervise the activities at the HSR. Today she helped Sisters make soft toys and get hygiene kits put into boxes for shipping to Salt Lake City.
We love the opportunity of being Missionaries and serving in the HSR. As we close our note to all of you, here is a quote from President Joseph F. Smith that we have on our bulletin board at the HSR:
"Charity, or love, is the greatest principle in existence. If we can lend a helping hand to the oppressed, if we can aid those who are despondent and in sorrow, if we can uplift and ameliorate the condition of mankind, it is our mission to do it, it is an essential part of our religion to do it."
Last night (Sat) our ward had a Fall Harvest Party. Everyone was asked to bring a crock-pot soup or a dessert made with fall fruit like apples or peaches. Mom made her famous "Senate Bean Soup," and some applesauce bread with chocolate drizzled on the top.
When we arrived at the party, we found out that they were serving the soup in bread bowls. They had a mountain of them! Mom and I each tried a couple of different soups, and of course some desserts. All of the food was very good. The turnout was pretty good, but they had purchased so many large rolls for bread bowls that they had boxes and boxes left over. We took a whole box home! We kept some and gave the rest to Doug and Marnie.
Tonight we had-your guessed it- soup again, and it was even better, because it had a lot of time for the flavors to blend in well.
I really hope that all is well with all of our family members, and that you too are able to have fun times with your ward families. We really do appreciate being here in Rexburg, making many new friends, working in the Temple and just enjoying life!
We really enjoy your blogs, and read them often. Keep up the good work!