Friday, March 15, 2024

Her mission call arrived!

photo she submitted with her mission papers

From my facebook post March 15, 2024:

My heart!

There’s some big news in our family! Our oldest daughter, Lily has chosen to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You’ve probably seen these missionaries before and maybe even talked to them.
Here’s some facts about missionaries that you might not know. Did you know…
-they don’t choose where they go
-they’re not paid
-they pay all their own expenses
-they put other plans on hold such as education, romantic relationships, and jobs
-they devote each day to living a missionary life, teaching of Jesus and ministering as He would
-they commit to doing this for 18months- 2 years
So, as you can imagine, this is a big decision that requires a lot of prayer, planning and preparation. Lily has prayed to know if this is the path she should take at this time, she has worked hard to save up enough money, and is putting her trust in God to send her where He will.
After her decision to serve, she wasted no time in filling out the required papers and making medical appointments with her dentist, and doctor, as well as the ecclesiastical appointments with her bishop and stake president.
She was so excited to finally submit her mission papers and was eagerly awaiting her call!
These mission papers were received by the mission department of the church, reviewed, and as a final step, taken before one of the 12 apostles. The apostle takes time seeking the Lord’s guidance and revelation specifically for each prospective missionary. This revelatory process determines where Lily will live and serve her entire mission.

PS. If you’re wondering more about the revelatory process of the mission calls, Apostle, Elder Ronald A Rasband wrote about it in a Facebook post dated January 17, 2021. It states:
“You may have wondered about how mission calls are assigned. At a recent devotional with missionaries worldwide, I shared an experience I had when President Henry B. Eyring, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, invited me to join with him as he assigned missionaries. This was before I was called into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles myself.
First, we knelt together in prayer. I remember Elder Eyring using very sincere words, asking the Lord to bless him to know “perfectly” where the missionaries should be assigned. The word “perfectly” said much about the faith that Elder Eyring exhibited that day.
As a picture of the missionary to be assigned came up on the computer screens, Elder Eyring greeted the missionary. In his mind he liked to think of where the missionaries would conclude their mission. This would aid him to know where they were to be assigned. Elder Eyring would then study information about each missionary.
Another screen displayed missions across the world. As he studied them, prompted by the Spirit, he would assign the missionary to his or her field of labor. I was witnessing revelation; what President Russell M. Nelson describes as “hear Him.”
Occasionally, Elder Eyring would ask where I thought a missionary should labor. I would name a particular mission, and Elder Eyring would look at me thoughtfully and say, “No, that’s not it!” He would then continue to assign the missionaries where he felt prompted.
As we were nearing the end, a missionary appeared on the screen. I had the strongest prompting, the strongest of the morning, that the missionary was to be assigned to Japan. I did not know that Elder Eyring was going to ask me on this one, but amazingly he did. I rather tentatively and humbly said to him, “Japan?” Elder Eyring responded immediately, “Yes, let’s go there.”
Privately in my heart, I was deeply touched and sincerely grateful to the Lord for allowing me to experience the prompting to know where that missionary should go. Now this is my frequent privilege. I can tell you what a sacred and powerful revelatory experience it is to identify where the Lord has chosen for His missionaries to serve.”

The mission call came via email Tuesday morning, and though it was torture, Lily waited until Wednesday night to open it so certain friends and family would be able to be there in person.
I was bursting with excitement to know where God would be sending Lily!

Friends started arriving at our home a little before 6pm. We had moved the couches a little and took all the chairs and set up rows in our great room. The dining table turned into a drink table where we served water and orange punch. The bar turned into snack central- chips, veggie tray, crackers, meats & cheeses, a variety of cookies and such. We got a facebook live going and got Aunty April on Facetime (she insisted she be given special treatment as Lily's second mother and get to have a video call. :) We obliged.)

The moment when she cracked a smile and the crowd went wild.

The place filled with probably close to 20 people. Then Lily grabbed her laptop, stood in front of everyone and opened the email. She read somewhat quickly and quietly because she was trying to control her shaky voice from all the nerves. She controlled it well, no one could even hear a smidge of a shake. Sounding cool as a cucumber, she read along and got to the part we were all waiting for, "You are assigned to labor in the New Hampshire Manchester mission and will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language." She cracked a smile and laughed a little giving us all the opportunity to let out our applause and cheer! WOOOOOO!!!

Many people listening online didn't catch where she was going, but eventually the word spread along in the chat feed.

So, she is assigned to labor in the New Hampshire Manchester mission! She will leave in August!
New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts are about to get rich with the gold Lily has to share. She’s a real treasure and the message she’ll be sharing is beyond price.
Jesus is good and he’ll be walking with my Lily as he always has. I am reassured by the Holy Ghost that she’ll be in good hands which helps my heart feel a little better about having my sweet girl far away. I love her so much!

Monday, March 4, 2024

Steve's Birthday Weekend

Steve scooping one of his favorite things- ICE CREAM!
This year we traveled to the Wasatch Front to visit family for Steves birthday.  It was fun to get to spend it with his family this year!  We had a delicious birthday lunch with Bev and Laurel's families as well as Steve's parents.  Since we didn't make it out there for Christmas, we also were given our Christmas gifts.  

Our Christmas gifts- fire extinguishing blankets

It was Daphne's birthday celebration, too.

Eva explaining how she juggles 4 balls

Echo lining up the tiles and Grandma watching

My nephew Jay was selling homemade bundt cakes for his fundraiser for band.  I found out about it the morning of Steve's birthday and I ordered one for Steve and paid to have it delivered to his parent's house.  The cake was delectable.  It was a moist chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting.  It was beautiful and so tasty.  They delivered it and said their happy birthdays.  It was awesome.

The next day was my sister April's birthday.  We originally were going to be driving home at that time, but a mountain snow storm changed our plans and we stayed an extra day.  Steve took off Monday and we traveled home then.
My dad made a stuffed Salmon with homemade hollandaise

Cilantro lime rice, italian green salad, hot cheesy krab dip, and texas caviar.

Alexa made a really cute gift for April.  It was a scavenger hunt.

Time to go home-

It was a good stay, but the time came to go home.  The main storm had passed, but that didn't mean the weather was nice.  Thankfully we made it home safely.

left to right: Steve, Art (his dad), Me, Lily, Margaret (Steve's mom), and Amara

Crap visibility

Pretty trees coated in fresh snow