Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Best Year EVER!

When I was first hired as a restaurant server, they started me out as a hostess and I spent the majority of my work day behind a cash register.  At the end of the night there were a lot of steps to take to close it down.  I had to organize the checks and coupons and add up all the receipts for the credit cards.  There were some frustrating nights where the numbers wouldn't add up perfectly and I had to go through every pile to find my simple two dollar mistake.  When you're tired of work and ready to go home, that two dollar difference can almost bring you to tears if you spend the next hour trying to find the missing numbers while thinking, "I could be home right now in my cozy bed!"
But SOME nights... some nights... it was beautiful.  My paperwork was perfectly filled out, numbers added up precisely, and the piles of visa, master card, am ex, and discover cards were flawlessly placed like cuddly ducks all in a row.  I would watch the clock with a huge grin as the hand ticked... ticked... ticked... closing time.  Without stress, I would click off the open sign, lock the front door, and clock out for the night.  It was one of those delightful feelings.  It's up there with bubble baths and hot chocolate.


God is amazing.  One thing I love about Him is how He allows us to learn through parables.  Sometimes He gives me personal revelation this way.  I'll receive answers to my prayers in little ways that only I can relate to or understand.  
One time, a few years ago, we were having a chit-chat, God and I.  I was discussing with Him  complaining to Him about my life not being exactly where I wanted it to be yet.  I wanted to be a mother at home with a million babies baking cookies and all that cliche, stereotypical Mormon mommy rubbish that everyone makes fun of.  All teasing aside, being home and raising kids in the gospel was a righteous desire that I didn't have and pleaded for with God. 
My answer was pretty interesting and unique to only me.  First, the word patience whispered through my thoughts.  Typical.  This usually happens.  But then my mind was steered to the cash register at my work.  That perfect moment where everything falls into place and you clock out exactly on time.  I had this funny feeling.  Something inside me told me this is what it would feel like for me.  Although the time had not come yet and I needed to endure a bit longer, it would all gracefully come together with all the puzzle pieces fitting at once.


And now looking back, let me tell you, 2015 has been my beautiful "clock-out" year.
It was right after our ultrasound appointment, where we saw our little buddy for the first time.  I remember showing my mother-in-law the strand of wonderful portraits of our little sea monkey when Mitch had to step outside for a phone call.  He came back in with a huge smile on his face.  "I got the job!" he announced.  We were now blessed with an awesome career for Mitchell to support our soon-to-be new family member.  A puzzle piece fell into place.


A few months later we were able to get a second car and begin construction on our future home.  Our new little best friend was born the beginning of October.  The pieces to the puzzle were filing in non-stop!  


And a few weeks ago I was blessed with another beautiful puzzle piece...
During a similar chit-chat with God around the same time as before I had asked him for a distraction.  Some kind of passion to keep my mind off what I didn't have.  He told me to start writing.  So I did.  Every day.  And it worked.  It really helped me feel better.  
I had this idea, and this idea became a character, which soon turned into a story, and eventually bloomed into a full-blown novel.  I wrote a book, you guys!  And a few weeks ago I got the email I have always dreamed of getting.  I'm going to be published!

This is something my sister-in-law sent me right after I found out the great news

What a beautiful cherry on top to this fantastic year!  In life, I know there's always good days and bad days, good years and bad years.  And I'm so glad I will always have this one to look back on.  I can always remember God cared about me.  He loves each of us, and although life can be frustrating, like those two dollar register nights where nothing seems to be going right, sometimes he gives us a break and blesses us with a perfect clock-out.


P.S. Here was my New Year's resolution from the beginning of year.  I guess I never got my puppy, but Heavenly Father's gotta draw the line somewhere.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Testimony Tuesday - The Doctor

In my microbiology class I remember learning about immunizations.  The best way I know how to explain it is the vaccine introduces your immune system to a specific germ so your body will freak out and attack it.  We create antibodies to remember how to defeat the sickness which makes us stronger the next time we're exposed to it.  Fascinating, right?!?  
Well, yesterday was Trekker's two-month doctor visit.  The date on the calendar had been haunting me all month because I knew it was time for his baby shots.  I begged Mitch to take off work early for the day so I didn't have to go by myself.
The whole drive to the doctor I was trying to explain to Trekker what was going to happen: how it was going to hurt, but mommy and daddy loved him so much and wanted him to be safe from dangerous sicknesses, how even though there would be pain now, one day he'll look back and be grateful it made him stronger.  I know he couldn't understand me, but I tried telling him anyways.
Oh, when the time came it was just the worst.  He was set on the table and the nurse asked Mitch to pin down his arms.  She leaned against his legs so he couldn't move and proceeded to inject the needles.  I sat in the corner terrified and had to look away.  When I listened to his helpless, high pitched cries, I shut my eyelids tightly to stop the tears from flowing.  I just wanted to take the pain away, take the needle injections for him.  This was the hardest part of being a parent so far.


As he continued to wail and I watched him in his father's arms being swayed and comforted I thought about my Heavenly Father...
How often does He go through this similar experience?  How often do we relate to Trekker's perspective?  All we can feel is this horrible pain happening and we don't understand why our Father in Heaven would allow us to go through it. 
"Doesn't He love me?  Why won't He stop this from happening?  Can't He hear that that I'm crying and pleading for this suffering to stop?"


Little do we know during our hardest trials that this pain is there to help us, to make us stronger.  Heavenly Father is listening to every cry.  He can't take the immunizations for us as badly as any parent would want to.  Our trials in this life are there for our good, and I'm beginning to see from a parent's perspective what that truly means for the first time.


Look at my brave little man!  And his chunk-o thighs with the horrible battle scars.  He gets extra, extra cuddles today.

On a similar note....
Enjoy my TESTIMONY TUESDAY - Episode 12

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Baby On Board

Life is amazing!  I don't understand how anyone with a baby can get anything done EVER!  And I don't mean because they keep you busy with crying and changing diapers and all that stuff people try to say to make you afraid of parenthood.  I mean, I could literally sit all day and stare at his cute face.  He has bewitched me!  I am absolutely obsessed with our new son.


The coming of Baby Trekker was quite the adventure!  He was cozy as could be in mommy's tummy, so we finally decided to induce him after 11 long days of no-shows.  I was most definitely doing the happy dance when the time finally came.



Long, crazy story short:  After a good three hours of pushing with an epidural that pretty much stopped working, we decided his 15" head was NOT going to fit and switched to a completely-knock-me-out C-section.  When I woke up an hour later I was handed a 22" inch long, 10 pound 3 1/2 ounce, healthy baby boy.  And our lives changed forever.


I have so much I want to say about what it's like.  How my heart melts when I watch him with his dad, or the awe and testimony of God's miracles when I feel his warm, little skin, or soaking in his undescribable, sweet baby smell.  But I think the best way to explain how wonderful the last month and a half has been would be through pictures.










Sunday, September 13, 2015

Temple Work For The Dead

This Saturday we had a wonderful youth temple trip.  We were able to print a few names from my husband's side of the family and watch the young men and young women be baptized and confirmed for our family members.  What a glorious experience!  


My talk for Sacrament meeting the next morning was on temple work and I wanted to post a couple of my thoughts here.

"… In the Kirtland Temple, (the prophet) Joseph Smith had received a vision of the celestial kingdom in which he saw his brother Alvin, who had died before Joseph had received the gold plates (see D&C 137 ). Joseph was surprised to see Alvin in the celestial kingdom, because Alvin had not been baptized before he died. The Lord explained to Joseph that all people who would have received the gospel, been baptized, and lived righteously if they had been given the opportunity will be able to be in the celestial kingdom. Joseph later learned that baptisms for the dead could be done vicariously, using people on the earth as proxies."

What glorious doctrine!  I wonder what it would have been like to have been one of the earlier saints and been there when this revelation was announced to the church.

I found a talk by James E. Faust and loves what he says about family history.

… Some who are interested in family history try to enhance their own image by linking up with prominent people. In my own experience it has been quite different. I have been fascinated by learning of some of the unknown, ordinary people whose records tell of heroic lives. Arthur R. Bassett once said: “Who among us wants to throw stones at their own ancestors? I, for one, am intrigued by their battles—their victories as well as their defeats. … I am fascinated by what may seem the most commonplace of lives, because I have come to realize the excitement that is concealed in the commonplace.”

It is not likely that you will find any horse thieves in your ancestral line. But if you do, it is important that their temple work be done, because we believe in repentance for the dead also.

Pause.  It's important to know that in my family history tree I come from some lines of different people who maybe didn't make the best choices in their lives.  I took this moment to publicly apologize if any of my ancestors had ever offended anyone else's ancestors.  I have some pirate blood, so there may be a chance that my family has pillaged or stole from your family.  I'm related to one of the judges for the Salem Witch trials, cowboys that were kicked out of the state for harboring criminals, and I am apparently a direct descendant of Attila the Hun.  


When I was on familysearch.org I was almost tempted to add to the family memories a Disney photo of the bad guy from Mulan.  But then I think the Holy Ghost prompted me that that probably wasn't appropriate.

Ancestors who have been found are no doubt anxious and thrilled when their names are cleared for ordinances.  They, however, may not be very happy when they have to continue to wait for their ordinances to be performed.

I heard this quote recently that says, "Every month has an average of 30-31 days... Except the last month of pregnancy, which has 1,453 days."  This is very accurate I am currently discovering.


If I'm having a hard time being patient enough to get through this last month of pregnancy, I cannot imagine the perspective of ancestors who have been waiting and waiting all these years to finally have someone help them with their ordinances.

It's like the lesson we learn in primary where you have a comb and have to brush your hair without bending your elbows.  Have you ever tried it?  It's impossible.  Those who have died without completing their ordinances are relying on us and "handing over the comb" so we can assist them in accomplishing their goals that they cannot complete alone.  

HERE'S A LIST OF 10 FAMILY HISTORY FHE IDEAS

”In an article in the March 2013 New York Times entitled “The Stories That Bind Us,” author Bruce Feiler shared psychologists’ findings that the more children knew about their family history, the better they were able to handle stressful situations.  The reasons were that the children realized they were a part of something bigger than themselves, they understood their family overcame many ups and downs, and they believed they could overcome difficulties too.

1. Connect with extended family through pictures.  You can explore photos of your family that others may have added to FamilySearch.org.
2. Share stories that you and your family remember about yourselves, your parents, and your grandparents.  Write the stories in the booklet, My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together.  Glue photos into the booklet.
3. Role play a family story, dressing up in costumes and everything.
4. Participate in indexing.
5. Connect with ancestors through food or a tradition.  This one could be really fun to cook up a foreign meal together as a family.
6. A fun way to get into family history is to record your living relatives telling stories about their lives.
7.  Digitize your family photos.  Help your grandparents scan all their old prints or slides so they can be posted online and available to the entire family.
8. Discover your fan chart.  Did you know in the worldwide membership of the church, fifty-one percent of adults currently do not have both parents in the family tree section of the FamilySearch internet site?  And sixty-five percent do not have all four grandparents listed.
9. Take an ancestors name to the temple.
10. Record your life.  Remember that telling your own story is part of doing family history.  As President Boyd K. Packer has said, "If you don't know where to start, start with yourself.  If you don't know what records to get, and how to get them, start with what you have."

Lastly, I always wished I had a more organized way to visually see what temple work still needs to be done on my family tree.  FamilySearch does an amazing job, but even then, I sometimes get confused clicking on a relative and branching out in random directions and somehow get lost.  I made a super simple printout for marking family members as their temple work gets checked off.  I may be the only one who will ever use it, but I'll post it here just in case it's able to help anyone else out as well.


I heart family!  I'm so grateful for temples and the blessings Heavenly Father has given us to always be bonded to our families forever.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

How Do The Roles Of Men And Women Complement Each Other In Families?

Get this week's lesson here.

This was the video I chose to introduce the lesson this week.  Thank you young women for being an excuse for getting my husband's reaction to some big news on camera.  

P.S. This video was taken months ago, I am definitely a lot bigger and more preggers  now than I was then.  

For this lesson I borrowed a lot of material from Linda K. Burton's talk We'll Ascend Together.  I used the quotes and pictures she shared of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve talking about their sweet spouses and displayed them on the board.

Speaking about his wife, Donna, President Boyd K. Packer said, “Because of the office I hold, I have a solemn obligation to tell the truth: She’s perfect.”

“She is the sunshine of my life,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of his wife, Harriet.

President Henry B. Eyring, referring to his wife, Kathleen, said, “She [is] a person who has always made me want to be the very best that I can be.”

And President Thomas S. Monson, speaking of his beloved Frances, said, “She was the love of my life, my trusted confidant, and my closest friend. To say that I miss her does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings.” 

I shared with the girls a couple notes I took in college from my Dating and Courtship class about the differences between men and women.  They seemed to get a kick out of that.  Things like how men on average use around 12,000 words a day and women speak about 25,000.  It was fun comparing the differences and noticing how much both genders balance each other out.

I then shared with them a poem I wrote a long time ago about a specific love story and tried to have them guess which couple inspired me to write this...

AFRAID AND ALONE, FROM THE DARK SLEEP YOU SAVED ME. 
THE DUST-LIT STARS IN YOUR EYES HAD ENSLAVED ME.
FROM THAT MOMENT ON WAS WHEN I KNEW
TO THE DEEPEST OF OCEANS I'D FOLLOW YOU

WE WALKED BAREFOOT ON THE UNTOUCHED EARTH
LIKE OUR UNTOUCHED SOULS AS THIS NEW LOVE BIRTHED.
OUR DREAMS BECAME ONE, ONE FLESH, ONE BONE.
I'D FOLLOW YOU TO THE FOG UNKNOWN.

I REMEMBER WHEN YOU CRIED, 
AFRAID THAT I WOULD SAY GOODBYE.  
EMPTY PARADISE,
COLD AND BLUE.
INTO THE DARKNESS I'LL FOLLOW YOU.

I'LL HOLD YOU CLOSE INSIDE MY ARMS
AND FALL INTO THE ICY STORMS.
WITH YOU WITH ME WILL BE ENOUGH.
WE'LL FIND THE LIGHT BENEATH THE ROUGH.

Some of them guessed Princess Ariel and Eric from The Little Mermaid.  Totally makes sense with my random "deepest of oceans" reference.  But this poem is actually about Adam and Eve.  They were so in love you guys!  So in love!



Genesis 3:16-19 really stuck out to me because this is where our gender roles truly began.  IN THE VERY BEGINNING WITH THE VERY FIRST COUPLE!!!  Eve was assigned to bring forth children and the ground was cursed so Adam would work hard from the sweat of his brow to provide for his family.

 16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.*
 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
*Focusing on the end of verse 16, President Spencer W. Kimball said: "I have a questions about the word rule.  It gives the wrong impression.  I would prefer to use the word preside because that's what he does.  A righteous husband presides over his wife and family."

This I've mentioned before in a previous lesson:  Think about football.  The quarterback "presides" over his team and is given the leadership position.  If everyone on the team was the QB it wouldn't function properly.  Although the QB's role is different from a receiver, or a blocker, each team member is just as important and needed to balance out the team and to win the game.


So grateful Heavenly Father has blessed us with families.  So grateful for the roles He has trusted us with to raise a family and I can't wait to being my journey of motherhood in the near future.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Happy Anniversary, Love

June 2006

It’s the Sunday after high school graduation.  I’m getting ready for church with Ashley and McKenzie, wearing my bright yellow cotton shirt with a layered pink tank top.  Today is a special Sunday, you know why?  It’s our first time attending the young single adults’ ward!  We are so old!  We get to start going to church with all the college students!
When I walk in the building, my heart begins pounding.  I scan the room and spot a familiar face in the very back row.  It’s my older brother with a chair saved just for me.  I inch through the crowd and take my seat as quietly and discretely as possible. 
The young man sitting directly in front of me turns around immediately.  “Who do we have here, Adam?” he asks with a smile.
“Mitch, this is my little sister, Jesse.”
He reached for my hand and gave it a solid handshake.  “Welcome to the singles’ ward, Jesse.  It’s nice to meet you.”
And that was how it began…   


December 31st, 2008

The New Year’s countdown has begun! 
10… 9… 8…
I wonder if tonight’s the night!  If it will finally happen!  Maybe Mitch will be my New Years kiss!  Our first kiss!  How exciting!
7… 6…
Where is Mitch anyway?  I don’t see him anywhere.  He was here just a second ago.
5… 4…
There’s no way I have been reading his cues wrong this whole time.  I’m pretty sure he likes me.  Where is he?  He has to…
3… 2… 1!
Nope.  He just lept off the stage and tackled the piñata in the middle of the gym.  There is candy everywhere.  Yikes!  That had to hurt.  He just superman’ed to the hard floor with, like, six feet of air.
*SIGH* …Maybe next time


August 2nd, 2008

There is no way I can finish my breakfast this morning.  My stomach is too distracted twisting in knots and butterflies.  I take a deep breath and look in the mirror. 
“Today is just a normal day,” I tell myself.  “Just hanging out with Mitchell like I do every single day… except I’m wearing a wedding dress.”
I feel a beautiful peace as I walk through the temple.  Everything is quiet, and my heart is calm.  I have most definitely made the right decision.  Mitch and I are going to be so unbelievably happy.
I look into his eyes as we are sealed for time and all eternity.  We are surrounded by our loving family and friends.  There is no other place on this earth that I would rather be than right here, right now, with my best friend.  Nothing could possibly get any better than this!


January 2015

I close my eyes in pain, afraid to look and see the results.  I already know the answer.  It will look the same as it has every month.  I don’t know why I even put myself through this anymore.
Somehow I find the strength to peel open my tightly shut eyelids.  And I am greeted by something unfamiliar and new.  Two purple lines.  My mind freezes, unable to grasp the registering information. 
My heart begins to melt the ice-cold prison it has locked itself in for years and I realize it’s for real this time.  I am not imagining this!  We finally did it!  We are finally going to have a baby!
Somehow I hold in the excitement wanting to burst inside of me as Mitchell walks in the door after work.  I ask him casually about his day and what happened, unable to concentrate on anything but keeping myself from grinning too widely. 
We are sitting on the couch together and the moment finally comes.  “I’M PREGNANT!” I scream and pour a giant jar of skittles on top of his head.  I didn’t have any confetti in the house, so I had to improvise.
Tears*tears*tears*hugs*and some more tears*
I can’t believe we made this little soul together.  When he is born we will be able to call him ours and show him how to love others the way we have always tried to love each other.
 

-------
My life has been magnificent from the second Mitchell stepped into it!  How fast the time does go! 

I love you, Mitchell, with all of my heart!  Everyday I think there is no way I could possibly love you more than I do at that second, and the day after I always prove myself wrong and the affection in my heart grows even more.  I ache for you when you're gone.  I feel safest when I'm in your arms.  Thank you for every second of every day and the joy you have poured into my world.  Happy SEVENTH wedding anniversary!


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Baby Countdown


We are officially in the double-digits people.


And baby is growing like crazy.  You see that Pilot Butte mound in front of my face?  That's my belly.  Sometimes I pathetically waddle through the house and Mitchell stops what he's doing, looks down at the bell, chuckles to himself, and walks away.  


I'm also starting to have issues with my work outfits too.  Luckily, I wear an apron all day so no one can see my undershirt popping out beneath my buttons.  One of the bussers I work with points out to me every time we work together, 
"Oh Yessica... Mucho, MUCHO gorda Yessica."
Thank you, Lupe.  I love you too.


To keep myself from getting anxious about labor and delivery I've begun compiling a list of different ideas/scenarios to think about during the contractions.  Who knows, I might be in too much pain to actually concentrate on a single thought, but with sports and stuff growing up it was always more a psychological thing than a physical thing for me.


"MY CONTRACTION HAPPY PLACES"
  1.  Imagine you're a war hero P.O.W. being tortured and you won't give up your secrets.  'Merica.
  2.  Imagine eating Pizza Mondo at the beach with a wombat
  3. If you do this, you will win $1,000,000!!
  4. Nine months of pregnancy over!  No more feeling like a whale!
  5. Imagine transferring this pain to someone you really don't like. 
  6. Baby cuddles!  So many cuddles coming up!
  7. Cruciatus curse from Harry Potter.  "CRUCIO!"  ... Get that wand outta ma' face!
  8. One more down, 314 contractions to go (give or take).
  9. Remember that I was once sitting on the bed in my PJs relaxing and writing this list down without any pain or contractions... Be in that moment.
Just to name a few... I have about 100 of these thoughts written down.

Also, I chopped off my hair.  Driving 45 minutes in the car while pregnant with no A.C. makes a person do things.

And lastly, does anyone else who is or has ever been pregnant find themselves with the itching urge to color on their stomachs?  I just can't help myself.  The beautiful, fresh, round canvas claws at my imagination and demands to be heard!



I am so excited for this little guy.  I could go through all the emotions I am constantly experiencing thinking about him coming into our lives, but more than anything there is just this overwhelming feeling of love.  I don't know how God is able to program us like this, where we would automatically do anything for this tiny spirit that we haven't even met yet.  I can not wait to finally meet little Trekker.  It is going to be such an amazing adventure.  Ninety-nine days to go...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

So Close To Half Way Done

I don't want to drive people nuts with my baby crazies, so I'm trying to limit my preggo posts to special occasions.  Special occasions like, oh, I don't know, maybe my HALF WAY MARK!!!

The reality truly set in when I finally figured the math . . . One week from tomorrow I will officially be 20 weeks along.  I find myself constantly researching the Googles in desperate need of ways to contain my excitement for Beh-beh Bee.  I have found that my favorite thing to do is read about other expecting mothers in the same giddy boat as me so we can cyber giggle and "LoL" together about the new transition slowly making its grand entrance into our lives.

With that in mind, this entry is about all my highlights over the past four and a half months.


I have LOVED every second of pregnancy so far, I confess, to a very creepy level.  It's probably abnormal to be grinning from ear to ear while you're hovering over the toilet because of morning sickness.  But every upchucked Cheerio has reminded me that this is really happening and that I finally get to have this baby.

The spicy and salty cravings have been unstoppable.  I eat like a hobbit now.  There's second breakfast and elevensies, first dinner and another supper later in the evening.  I think it makes Mitchell uncomfortable.  


The other day he was singing LOVE SHACK and changed the lyrics to something he found to be more appropriate.  
"I've got me a Chrysler, it's as big as a whale, and its name is my wife..."

Thanks sweetheart.
January              February              March              April

Most people liken their baby to the size to a fruit or a vegetable.  I have found it's a little more interesting to compare it to something it could fight with fair odds of winning, like a lady bug or a Lego.  Right now I would probably put my money on a successful TKO against a newborn guinea pig.  


At least the alien baby phase is over and it's starting to look more human.  This was from about 10 weeks ago...



The flutters are getting stronger.  It feels like a carousel spinning round and round in my stomach or random pieces of popping popcorn.  I have noticed that baby is most active when I'm at work, walking back and forth, or when I'm playing the piano.  And that makes me SO HAPPY.  We may have a music lover!


To sum everything up, this has been such a wonderful adventure.  Today I'm going in for an appointment and I'm trying to brainstorm how to bribe the doctor into letting us find out the gender a week early.  I've narrowed it down to Krispy Kreme Donuts or homemade cookies.  Cross your fingers she can be swayed easily, because these old wives' tales are just NOT CUTTING IT for me.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why Is The First Vision Important: Part 2

Get this week's lesson here.
I have given this lesson before!  It is such a wonderful subject!  To see how I have presented it in the past, check out my other post here.


To change things up a bit, I had the girls off on their own for the majority of the lesson.  We went outside and had each girl separate so she could have a spot to be alone without any distractions.  I decided to approach it this way for two reasons...

1: To give the girls the perspective of Joseph Smith when he journeyed out to the Sacred Grove alone.

2: So this could be between them and their Heavenly Father.  Having a testimony of the First Vision is such an important part of the gospel.  It seems to me, once you have a firm testimony of this event, everything else just falls into place.  I was hoping that them having this peaceful alone time could help to better to invite the spirit and know for themselves that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.


Each girl was given an envelope with activities inside to guide them through their self-lesson.  I found some leaves in the yard and dried them using wax paper and an iron a few days before.  With the magic of a little bit of Mod Podge, they should stick just fine.


Each packet included directions on what to do, a picture from the first vision for a bookmark, a journal page, and a pencil.  Note to self: Next time I do this I will also throw in a couple Kleenexes for any of the girls that might get emotional.

Along with the packet, everyone needed a set of scriptures and I passed out little blankets for them to sit on so their skirts didn't get dirty in the grass.


Side note: While taking these pictures for the blog, Stuntman was NOT making it easy for me.  He kept wandering up and photobombing the set or nudging me to convince me to play.  So, here's his little demanded moment of attention and my shout-out to the stubborn kitty.  Cats are jerks.


Here were my directions printed out for the lesson:

Why is the First Vision important?

In the spring of 1820, God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith.  This vision, which marked the beginning of the Restoration of the gospel, is the most important event since the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Joseph Smith’s humble prayer led to the restoration of gospel truths, priesthood authority, and saving ordinances. 

“That one revelation answers all the [questions] regarding God and his divine personality.  … His interest in humanity through authority delegated to man is apparent.  The future of the work is assured.  These and other glorious truths are clarified by that glorious first vision.
-President David O. McKay

Before you begin your reading, use this moment to say a silent prayer to your Heavenly Father.  Allow Him to help you feel the spirit and humbly ask for His help that your testimony of Joseph Smith’s First Vision may grow and solidify.

Open your scriptures and silently read Joseph Smith-History 1:11-19, 24-25 
[JSH is located near the end of The Pearl of Great Price (Pg 48)].

In the back of your folder is a journal page where I invite you to take a moment to ponder and reflect on how this scripture makes you feel.  You may choose to take this opportunity to record your testimony of Joseph Smith’s first vision.

Do you understand Joseph Smith’s first vision better?  Do you have any additional questions?  Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

As soon as you are finished, feel free to pick up your belongings and return to class.




Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Birthday Mitchell

This year, in celebration of the husband's birth, I posted every hour to Facebook a glorious image of Mitchell accompanied by a personal quote I've recorded from him over the past 6 1/2 years. Please enjoy!

"You can learn a lot from a Mitchell."

(HALF ASLEEP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT)
"Would you shut that heater off? I'm over here sweatin' like a space pig."

"How do I turn your face off?"

"Well, heck.  I lied to get a new Lego set.  What are you gonna do about it?!"

"On a scale of one to REALLY FAT, how would you rate yourself?"

"Wouldn't it be fun to release 100 pigmy goats in here right now?"
(Whispered to me from the back row of stake conference in the church building)

PHONE CONVERSATION:
Jesse: "Hi Sweetie!"
Mitch: "Well, hello there... Ha heh heh heh!"
Jesse: "... You have a mustache, don't you?"
Mitch: "Guilty."

"Honey, you're about as helpful as a monkey with a permanent marker."

(HALF ASLEEP)
"Just so you're aware, the right side of my robot has missile launchers... and they do work."

"Go to bed, Bartok... You ugly, little bat."

"Don't worry, we'll have cute babies, babe. Hopefully they don't have your moose face though."



... Just love that guy


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